By Charlie O. Mallonee
Have you ever had one of those days at the office when you show up and you feel that your rhythm is just a half a beat off? For you “old schoolers,” everyone in the workplace is moving at 45 rpm while you are dragging at 33 1/3 rpm. The was the kind of day the Kings had on Sunday in Los Angeles versus the Clippers as they lost 122-108 to close out their six-game road trip.
Sacramento never held a lead in the game on Sunday. The Clippers largest lead of the game was 25 points. LAC held a 16 point advantage — 67 to 51 — at the half.
The Kings came out in the third quarter playing with improved energy and appeared to ready to make a game of it. In the fourth quarter, Sacramento twice closed within five points of the lead, but the Clippers were able to go a scoring barrage that would allow them to open a lead as large 19 points in the final period to end Kings hopes of a comeback victory.
The victory upped the Clippers’ record to 28-22 for the season while the loss drops the Kings back to .500 on the year at 25-25. The loss dropped the Kings’ record on the road trip to 2-4.
The Kings did have to battle an early start in the “City of Angels” on Sunday. Because the Lakers also have a home game scheduled on Sunday at the Staples Center, the Clippers always have to play the early game. That game has to tip-off by 12:30 so the second game can begin by 6:00 PM.
The early start may have been a problem, but then again, this is a young team that should be able to handle time diversity easier than older veterans.
Playoff Picture at Game 50
LAC holds the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference with the win on Sunday. They are 7.5 games behind the conference-leading Warriors. The Clippers have won three consecutive games and are 4-6 in their last 10 games.
Sacramento is in 10th place in the Western Conference 3.0 games behind the Clippers for the final playoff spot in the West. The Kings are now on a one game losing streak and are 5-5 over their last 10 games.
From the Game Book
- SAC shot 39.8% (37/93) for the game. NBA teams do not win shooting under 40%
- It was a horrible 3-point shooting night: 8-for-36 (22.2%)
- 44 rebounds – 8 less than LAC
- The Kings recorded just 18 assists. That is not their game. They average 25.8 assists per game
- The team committed 12 turnovers that resulted in 18 points for the Clippers
- Two positives: 12 steals and six blocked shots
- De’Aaron Fox was the Kings’ leading scorer with 21 points. He shot 8-for-16 from the field with one 3-pointer
- Bogdan Bogdanovic came off the bench to put 19 points in the book. He was a monster at the free throw line, converting 8-of-9 opportunities
- Buddy Hield and Iman Shumpert scored 16 points each in the game. Hield went just 2-for-7 from downtown
- Marvin Bagley III did not start, but added 14 points, hitting 5-of-10 shots in the game
- Willie Cauley-Stein flirted with a double-double as he scored nine points and grabbed 12 rebounds
- Montrezl Harrell came off the bench to score a game-high 25 points. He shot an incredible 11-for-13 for the game
- Tobias Harris scored 18 points, including going 4-for-4 from the charity stripe
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander put 17 points up on the board by going 7-for-7 from the free throw line
- Patrick Beverly tried to post a triple-double by scoring 16 points, hauling in 10 rebounds and dishing out eight assists
- The Clippers shot 47.7% (42/88) overall versus the Kings
- LAC hit 11-of-29 (37.9%) of their 3-point field goal attempts
- Los Angeles converted 27-of-29 opportunities from the free throw line (93.1%)
- They dished out 35 assists and made just 19 turnovers to very close to that magic 2:1 ratio
The Kings return to Sacramento and will host the Atlanta Hawks for the only time this season. Hawks guard Jeremy Lin has been rumored to be a trade prospect for the Kings.
The Clippers will host the Hawks on Monday night at Staples Center.