Sacramento Kings Wednesday game wrap: Kings can’t keep up drop 115-95 decision as Clippers clinch No. 4 seed

April 13, 2017

NBA, Sacramento Kings

Sacramento Kings’ Ben McLemore, left, is fouled by Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 115-95. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

~ By Pearl Allison Lo

~ LOS ANGELES– The Clippers kept their lead at Staples Center this time with a 115-95 win over the Sacramento Kings Wednesday in the NBA’s regular season final night.

With the win, Los Angeles has home court advantage in playoffs and will face the Utah Jazz, who also won. The Clippers ended the regular season with wins in their last seven.

The Kings were at a higher deficit in the fourth quarter, 21 points behind and were not close to shortening it like the last time the two teams met.

However, Los Angeles head coach Dave Joerger pointed out, “What’s validation for it? For Game 82, [the Clippers] had their starting group on the floor with five minutes to go, for whatever reason. But they had to because we pushed them to it. We pushed it to them last week.”

Overall on the season, Joerger said, “[It was a ] terrific season. [I’m] really proud of our guys. They fought and played hard to the end…Guys have really hung in there.”

Sacramento’s Willie Cauley-Stein finished with a game-high 19 points as part of his double-double with 14 rebounds. Los Angeles’ DeAndre Jordan had a double double with 18 points and 17 rebounds, and tied a season-high with four blocks.

The Kings have now lost 19 of the last 23 games versus the Clippers and lost the season series 1-3.

Sacramento had the higher shooting percentage after the first half but Los Angeles got better as the game continued. Quarter by quarter, their lead went from nine to 10 to 14 to 21.

The first quarter’s fourth tie was part of a 12-2 run that gave the Clippers a lead they would not relinquish. Part of it was an 8-0 run with 4:11 left. Within the 12-2 run, the Kings’ Ben McLemore fouled twice, Los Angeles’ J.J. Reddick scored from the line three times and Jordan had three rebounds, including one off Marreese Speight’s missed shot.

In the second, the Clippers’ biggest lead went to 10 points with 2:37 left. Before that, Sacramento twice got to within two points but could not tie up the game.

It was still close at the half, Los Angeles leading 53-47. The Kings shot better at 48.8% but the Clippers had 18 points off three’s compared to six for Sacramento.

Then Los Angeles started pulling away. By the end of the third, they were shooting 50% compared to 49.2% for the Kings. Reddick’s 201st three capped an 11-2 run and was the first time they got a 14 point lead in the quarter. Reddick’s three also set a club record with the most three’s in a season.

Sacramento reached 100 points with 6:21 left in the game and followed that with two buckets to reach their biggest lead of the match for the first time.

After a video tribute to the Clippers’ Paul Pierce, playing in his final regular season game, chants of “We want Paul” erupted from the crowd including Coach Doc Rivers, as Pierce entered the game. Pierce was reluctant to go on the court both times but the Inglewood native commented, “To be able to end it all here in front of family and friends, being back home, it’s special.”





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