Kings Countdown: Friday night the red hot Clippers visit Sacramento

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul vs Memphis Photo: NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Clippers (10-2)

Clippers looking to rebound from second loss of season

LAC (10-2) lost just their second game of the season on Wednesday night to the Memphis Grizzlies 111-107 on their homecourt in Los Angeles. The Grizzlies Marc Gasol hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 14 seconds left in the game to lead Memphis to the win.

J.J. Redick was the Clippers leading scorer putting up 29 points. DeAndre Jordan grabbed 14 rebounds. LAC shot 45.7-percent from the floor (37-for-81) and 9-for-25 (36.0-percent) from 3-point land. DeAndre Jordan went 0-for-2 from the free throw line.

Team Leaders for the Clippers

  • Forward Blake Griffin leads LAC in scoring with 20.6 points per game
  • DeAndre Jordan is the leader in shooting percentage at 57.8-percent with most of his scoring coming in the paint near the basket
  • Jordan is also the rebounding leader at 12.8 per game (3.8 offensive rebounds ppg)
  • Chris Paul dishes out an average of 8.3 assists per game
  • When it comes to 3-pointers, Paul and J.J. Redick average hitting 2.3 long shots per game each
  • As a team, the Clippers average 108.7 per game – fourth best in the NBA
  • The Clippers defense has held their opponents to just 93.8 points per game – number one in the NBA – this team not only can score, they can play defense

Does “hack-a-Jordan” still work?

DeAndre Jordan is shooting 44.0-percent from the free throw line so far this year, so it’s worth a try.

151112065240-deandre-jordan-nba-los-angeles-clippers-at-dallas-mavericks-home-t1
DeAndre Jordan checks the scoreboard Photo: NBAE via Getty Images

How do you beat the Clippers?

  • The Grizzlies beat LAC by doubling the number of 3-pointers they hit. Memphis hit 15 from downtown to just nine for the Clippers
  • Memphis also outrebounded Los Angeles 43-35

This is the front end of a back-to-back for the Clippers

The Clippers have to go home after the game on Friday night and host the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.

Probable starters for the Clippers

  • Forward Luc Mbah a Moute 5.8 ppg
  • Forward Blake Griffin 20.6 ppg
  • Center DeAndre Jordan 10.3 ppg
  • Guard J.J. Redick 14.6 ppg
  • Guard Chris Paul 18.3 ppg

Sacramento Kings (4-8)

San Antonio Spurs v Sacramento Kings
Cousins battling under the basket Photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE

Game two of five at home

The Kings lost the opening game of the homestand to San Antonio 110-105. Now, they have to play the team with the best record in the NBA – the Los Angeles Clippers are who 10-2 on the season.

The Kings have lost three consecutive games

The Kings (4-8) have already experienced  a four-game losing streak on the long road trip that featured five games in seven nights. The team would like to avoid matching that losing streak but that is going to be a tough task against a team like the Clippers who are playing so well on both ends of the floor.

Kings must play solid defense against the Clippers

The Clippers are just too strong of a scoring team to get into a shootout with in the game. If you do, you are going to lose. The Kings must slow the game down and play solid, hard nosed defense. They must decide who they are going to shutdown. Will they go after Griffin or Chris Paul? Sacramento has to make one of those players ineffective in order to have a chance to win.

Sacramento needs a third scorer to step up

The Kings have been dependent on DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay to carry the load when it comes to scoring. The Clippers are too strong of a team on defense for the Kings to have just two scoring options. The Kings need a third player to produce tonight – preferably a guard who might be able to hit some 3-pointers.

Last year versus the Clippers

The Kings were 1-3 versus the Clippers in 2015-16. Their lone win came in January 2016 at Staples Center when six Kings players scored in double figures.

How deep will the rotation go?

There had been rumors that Dave Joerger was going to shorten the rotation on his bench and then he used 10 players against San Antonio. Only Omri Casspi and Anthony Tolliver did not see the floor versus the Spurs. Will the same be true against the Clippers tonight?

Probable starters

  • Forward Rudy Gay 21.3 ppg
  • Forward DeMarcus Cousins 26.6 ppg
  • Center Kosta Koufos 5.3 ppg
  • Guard Aaron Afflalo 9.6 ppg
  • Guard Ty Lawson 5.4 ppg
San Antonio Spurs v Sacramento Kings
Ty Lawson probable starter Photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE

For Entertainment Purposes Only

FiveThirtyEight.com predicts the Clippers have a 69-percent change of winning the game to just a 31-percent chance for the hometown Kings. FiveThirtyEight says take the Clippers minus five points.

Other sites from that desert town in Nevada project an over/under of 204.5 points. They favor the Clippers minus 8.0 to 8.5 points.

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