CK Press Box Report: Clippers 108, Kings 100
The Sacramento Kings trailed by just six points heading into the fourth quarter. But the Los Angeles Clippers opened the final period with a 9-2 run and never looked back, defeating the Kings 108-100 at Power Balance Pavilion Thursday.
“They got a little more aggressive, a little more physical as we tried to attack the basket,” said Kings head coach Keith Smart after the loss. “They got in there and knocked some balls loose and they turned over some points. This is a top team in the league and you have to play a perfect game.”
The Kings were marred by turnovers. Sacramento coughed the ball up18 times and dished out only 14 assists. Meanwhile, the Clippers were nearly flawless in their execution and finished with 30 assists and nine turnovers.
In defeat, DeMarcus Cousins recorded his 22nd double-double of the season. He finished with game-highs in points (23) and rebounds (10) in 32 minutes of action. Chris Paul led Los Angeles with 22 points on 50-percent shooting from the field. The All-Star point guard also assisted nine baskets and recorded three steals in the winning effort.
Next up for the Kings, a match-up down south with the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center tomorrow night.
Notes and Analysis
- In 30 minutes of play, Isaiah Thomas turned the ball over a career-high six times.
- Fans witnessed a flash of the old BYU Jimmer Fredette tonight. He scored all of his 11 points before intermission, including back-to-back energy-setting threes in a 11-0 Kings run. Smart played his starters the majority of the third quarter, but the Kings head coach went back to Jimmer early in the fourth. However, the rookie looked flustered in what resulted in just a three-minute stint, turning the ball over on back-to-back possessions before exiting the game.
- The Kings bench contributed 26 points in the loss. Chuck Hayes was the only Kings reserve that played who didn’t score. He only attempted one shot.
- Tyreke Evans started the game 3-of-5 for six points. He would score 12 more buckets, but made only 4-of-16 shots en route to a lackluster 33-percent night from the field.
- The Kings shot 57.5 percent overall in the first half. After intermission, their shooting percentage dipped to an abysmal 35.9 percent.
- Mo Williams provided the Clippers with a huge spark off the bench, leading the Clippers reserves with 18 points on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc.
- Fresh off a stint in the D-League, Bobby Simmons was another catalytic spark off the Clippers’ bench. The veteran forward scored 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.
- For one night, Randy Foye filled the void left by Chauncey Billups. The Clippers guard scored 16 points, assisted five baskets and made 3-of-7 from three-point land.
- The Clippers perimeter game was paced by their outside stroke. Los Angeles made 12-of-23 three-point attempts in their eight-point victory.
- Stat of the Night: Hassan Whiteside scored his first-career NBA points. With 10.9 seconds left in the game, the second-year center got on the board with a dunk before time expired.
J.J. Hickson suffered a left-hip injury late in the third quarter and did not return to the game. He won’t travel with the team for their match-up with the Lakers and will undergo further tests tomorrow.
“It’s unfortunate,” said Hickson postgame. “But things like that happen and you gotta keep playing. I wish my team the best of luck the next couple games.”
The Kings big man landed on his backside rising high for an offensive rebound after an Evans’ missed lay-up.