Warriors remain perfect, shutdown Clippers

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — Stephen Curry led the way with 28 points, seven assists, and six rebounds, helping the Golden State Warriors to a 121-104 victory over their Pacific Division rival, the Los Angeles Clippers in front of 19,596 fans Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.

Five players finished in double figures, including Draymond Green who had a career-high 24 points and eight rebounds. Green was red-hot from the field, especially from deep, connecting on 4-of-6 from behind the arc.

“I thought we got out to a quick start,” said Green postgame, “I thought our energy was great and we just stayed aggressive.”

Klay Thompson scored 19 points after getting into early foul trouble. Harrison Barnes finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Andrew Bogut scored just six points, but grabbed 14 rebounds. Golden State out-rebounded Los Angeles 39-30. Leandro Barbosa led the “Dubstitutes”with 13 points.

David Lee, playing in his first game of the season due to a pulled hamstring, scored six points in seven minutes of action before re-aggravating his hamstring in the first quarter. Lee did not return to the game.

“It was good win, but we can definitely get better,” said Curry, who shot 9-of-18 from the field (4-of-8 from 3-point range.)

Jamal Crawford scored 24 points and DeAndre Jordan finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers, who drop to 3-2 on the season.

Blake Griffin scored 14 points, and mustered only one rebound.

Chris Paul scored 15 points and dished out 12 assists, but was clearly frustrated for much of the night after shooting just 6-of-15 from the field. Paul also picked up a technical foul in the third quarter after complaining to officials after an apparent elbow from Curry.

Golden State shot a blistering 58 percent from the floor and nailed 15-of-25 3’s, but it was the ugly 23 turnovers that soured the team’s first 4-0 start since the 1994-95 season.

That season, Golden State won their first five games in a row to start the season.

Physical rivalry renewed, Warriors edge out Clippers, 105-103

Photo credit: Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty

By Gabe Schapiro

The Golden State Warriors (17-13) and Los Angeles Clippers (20-10) claim that no rivalry exists between them, but Wednesday night’s tilt begged otherwise. In a very feisty matchup that included multiple technicals, two ejections, and much pushing and shoving, the Warriors outlasted the Clippers,105-103, at Oracle Arena.

Golden State came out of the gate slowly, and fell behind big early. At one point it looked like Los Angeles could run away with this one, after opening up a 13-point lead part way through the second quarter.

The Warriors woke up in the waning minutes of the first half, however, and began making a game out of it. They had reduced the 13-point deficit down to just two as both sides headed into the locker rooms.

The second half was a true heavy-weight battle. The lead traded hands countless times as the two California foes both got in their swings, sometimes literally. At the very end of the third quarter Draymond Green was ejected after a tussle with Blake Griffin. Just minutes later Griffin himself was ejected after earning his second technical, this time getting into a skirmish with fellow big man Andrew Bogut.

After the dust settled the two sides hunkered down for the final stretch. Neither side led by more than five points at any point in the fourth quarter. For several stretches the game turned into a point guard battle, with Stephen Curry and Chris Paul each taking their turns to pull their team back out in front with dazzling plays.

Paul has become known as possibly the NBA’s best closer. If true, tonight will go down as one of the few blown saves on his record. He was his normal brilliant self at times, but at the bitter end came up short multiple times.

With 1:08 remaining in the game, two Harrison Barnes free throws gave the Dubs a 105-103 lead. In the final minute Paul uncharacteristically missed a 9-foot jumper and a layup. He drove to the basket again with one second left only to have Klay Thompson come up with a huge block. On the final in-bounds play Jamal Crawford heaved up a long three-point attempt that just nicked the front of the rim as the buzzer sounded.

Curry was nearly a non-factor for much of the night as the Clippers blanketed him often, taking him out of the game. However he came up big when it mattered most hitting multiple big shots in the final 12 minutes. Despite he comparably down night for him, he still finished with a double-double. He had 15 points and 11 assists, to go along with six rebounds.

Bogut and David Lee also each contributed double-doubles. Bogut posted 10 points and 14 rebounds. Lee contributed 23 points and 13 boards. They are the first set of teammates to each have 10+ rebounds in 10 straight games since the 1978 New Orleans Jazz, when Rich Kelley and Truck Robinson accomplished the feat.

Thompson had his best game in a while, filling up the stat sheet. He tied for a team-high 23 points, and had four assists, five rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.

Barnes played some big minutes down the stretch, especially with the ejection of Green. He had 14 points and five boards in 25 minutes off the bench.

Paul had a game-high 26 points and 11 assists in the losing effort for Los Angeles. Griffin was having a fantastic game before his ejection, compiling 20 points and 14 rebounds. Deandre Jordan was a monster down low, posting 13 points, 13 boards, and six blocks.

Kings vs Clippers Preview

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By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings have not played a game since their loss last Sunday to the LA Lakers 100-86. The team looked tired in the second half of the Lakers game after losing a heartbreaker to the Cippers 103-102 on Saturday night.

The Clippers defeated the Knicks 93-80 on Wednesday night even with Chris Paul having to leave the game with a strained hamstring.

After the Knicks game, the Clippers seemed very pleased with their defense that held NYK to just 80 points. The Clippers have primarily been defeating teams with their offense. They have not lost a game this season when the team has scored 100 points or more in the contest.

The Kings will need to concentrate on controlling the defensive boards tonight. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan can dominate the rebounding situation and kill a team with easy put back shots off the rebound. The Kings will need more than just Cousins to battle under the bucket to keep the Clippers from having multiple opportunities on offense.

The Kings must also play better defense on Friday. The Clippers are shooting 47.9% as a team. The Kings need to bring that percentage down into the low 40’s in order to post a victory.

The Kings will also need to show improved shooting versus the Clippers. Sacramento is averaging just 42.7% shooting from the field. That shooting percentage will not get it done against the Clippers.

The Clippers must contain DeMarcus Cousins if they are to win. Cousins scored 23 points and pulled down 19 rebounds versus LAC last Saturday. Cousins may have some help on the front line tonight with Derrick Williams starting at small forward. This will be Williams’ first game as a King.

The Clippers have two players with health issues coming into the game. Paul’s hamstring is questionable, but he has said he will be ready to play Friday night. Blake Griffin is nursing a tender elbow that had to have fluid drained off it earlier this week.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 PST. The game can be seen on CSNCA and heard on the Kings Radio Network.

 Ray McCallum Returns from Reno

 The Kings have recalled rookie guard Ray McCallum from the Reno Bighorns of the NBA D-League. McCallum joined the Bighorns on November 21.

McCallum averaged a team high 22 points (45.5 FG%, 30.8 3pt%, 66.7 FT%), 5.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.33 steals and a team high 38.0 minutes of playing time in three games with Reno.

McCallum should probably buy some tire chains as he may well be making the trip between Sacramento and Reno several times this season. The Kings want him to get playing time. If the PT does not come in Sacramento, he will be sent to Reno to get some game experience.

Kings get clipped in LA 103-102

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By Charlie O. Mallonee

The fourth quarter of the Kings-Clippers game was more like the 15th round of a heavyweight fight. It was physical, emotional and exciting. The game was literally won in the final seconds of the game. When the final buzzer sounded, the Clippers had defeated the Kings 103-102.

In the first-half of the game, no one in the stands or watching at home would have guessed that the game would come down to the last second. The Clippers led the Kings 26-19 after the first period of play. By the 9:51 mark in the second quarter, LA led Sacramento by 20 points. It appeared the Kings were about to take a beating by the number two team in Los Angeles.

What happened? Chuck Hayes made a layup with 8:55 to go in the half and ignited the Kings offense. Sacramento would go on to outscore the Clippers 35-28 in the second quarter. At the half, Los Angeles led the Kings 57-48.

In the third period, the battle continued. DeMarcus Cousins decided to put the team on his back and led the charge. Patrick Patterson came alive after having a miserable first-half, and Luc Mbah a Moute provided the defense under the basket that disrupted the Chris Paul-Blake Griffin connection. The Kings won the quarter 21-18 and trailed the Clippers 75-69 after three quarters.

The Clippers may be an offensive machine, but their defense is still lacking. That lack of defense allowed the Kings to scratch and claw their way back into the game. The Kings were led by Patterson, Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins on offense. On defense, Mbah a Moute played tough down low.

The lead see-sawed back and forth until the Kings built a five point lead with 3:19 left to play in the game. The Clippers were not about to surrender. Chris Paul made a 3-pointer and the game was tied at 98-98 with 1:29 left in the game.

LA went back into the lead at 1:04 when Chris Paul made a driving layup. Even more devastating was the foul that was called on Mbah a Moute – his sixth. Watching the replay, the foul should have been charged to Cousins which would have been his sixth. The referees conferred but held firm on their call. Paul missed the free throw, but the loss of Mbah a Moute would lead to the Clippers win.

With the game tied at 100-100, Paul and Griffin pulled off the perfect pick and roll play with no Mbah a Moute to provide the underneath defense.

The game was tied at 102-102 with 0:02 to play. Patterson fouled Chris Paul who hit one of two free throws. Cousins grabbed the rebound and the Kings called a timeout. With 1.9-seconds to go, the Kings got the ball to Cousins who took a desperation shot that missed as time ran out. The Clippers won the game 103-102.

The Kings shot just 42.0% (37-88) from the field just below their season average of 42.6%. They hit just five of 17 shots (29.4%) from beyond the 3-point arc. Sacramento out rebounded the Clippers 46-39. The Kings committed just 10 turnovers.

DeMarcus Cousins led all scorers with 23 points. He also had 19 rebounds and seven assists. Isaiah Thomas added 22 points and five assists. Patrick Patterson scored 21 points in 31 minutes of playing time. Expect to see more of Patterson on Sunday versus the Lakers.

The Clippers finished with their five starters all in double figures. Chris Paul was the leading scorer with 22 points and nine assists. That ended Paul’s streak of the 13 straight games posting a double-double.

The Kings will have no time to recover from their “battle royal” with the Clippers. They have an appointment Sunday night with the Lakers back at the Staples Center.

Notes: The Kings D-League entry – the Reno Bighorns – dropped both games of their season opening back-to-back series in Sioux Falls. Ray McCallum who just joined the Bighorns from the Kings scored 28 points on Friday night and 16 points in Saturday’s game.

 

Kings Fall to Clippers 110-101

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By Charlie O. Mallonee

The LA Clippers came to call on the Sacramento Kings Friday night. It would have seemed to be perfect timing as the Clippers had a home game on Thursday and then had to face a road game the next night. The timing did not work out for the Kings as the Clippers came out shooting at 50.0% from the field and won the game 110-101.

The Clippers came out in the first period looking like a team that was coming off a day of rest rather than playing game two of a back-to-back. The Clippers outscored the Kings 24-22. The Kings shooting left something to be desired as they shot just 38.1% from the field. Isaiah Thomas came off the bench to spark the Kings and keep the game close.

The Clippers started off the second quarter with a 9-0 run over the Kings. Just when it looked like the Clips would run away with the period, Isaiah Thomas brought the Kings back to life, but the Kings poor shooting allowed the Clippers to open up a 10 point lead. The Kings brought the game back into the paint and cut the LA lead to three with 4:26 remaining in the quarter. The Clippers used an improved shooting percentage (47.5%) to open up a 54-45 halftime lead.

The Kings shot just 38.1% (16-42) from the field in the first half. Isaiah Thomas led the Kings with 12 points.

The Clippers started off the second half much as they did the first half. Chris Paul put LAC on the board with back-to-back jumpers and strong shooting from the field (51.1%) kept the Clippers on top opening up a lead of 13 at the 7:41 mark. Following a three point play by DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings came back to life cutting the Clippers lead to 68-60 at 5:38. Isaiah Thomas came off the bench at 4:35 and sparked a charge that cut the LA lead to two with 1:25 to play in the quarter. A Travis Outlaw put back of a Cousins shot at the buzzer made it LAC 79 – Kings 77 after three periods.

A Jason Thompson field goal opened the final period tying the game at 79-79. The quarter quickly became a game of outside shooting and free throws. The Clippers would threaten to pull away and then the Kings would find an answer to keep the game close. Sacramento tied the game at 90 with a circus shot from Isaiah Thomas. The Kings took the lead at 6:43 on a Jason Thompson lay-up, but the hot LA shooting kept putting the Clippers back into the lead. DeMarcus Cousins picked up a technical foul at the 2:48 mark and gave LA a three point lead.  The game remained close, but in the end the Kings could not overcome the Clippers 50.0% shooting from the field. The LA Clippers won the game 110—101.

The Kings fell to 1-1 on the young season. They now face their first road contest of the year in Oakland versus the Warriors on Saturday night.

Isaiah Thomas led all scorers with 29 points. DeMarcus Cousins added 24 and Marcus Thornton put up 17 for Sacramento. Chris Paul led the Clippers with 26 points. Blake Griffin posted 20 along with Jamal Crawford’s 18.

The key to the Clippers win was their shooting percentage. When a team shoots 50.0% (35-70) from the field and shoots 50.0% (12-24) from 3 point range, it becomes almost impossible to defeat them. The Clippers could not be defeated on Friday night.

Notes: The Kings on Thursday declined to pick their option on Jimmer Fredette for the 2014-15 season. The move will make the former first-round draft pick an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Fredette will be free to negotiate with any NBA team including the Kings for next season. The move may also mean that Fredette will not finish the season in Sacramento as his now expiring contract becomes a desirable piece in possible trades with teams looking to free up salary cap room. Fredette did not play in the season opener versus Denver… The Kings had two additional players that were eligible for deals on Thursday, Greivis Vasquez and Patrick Patterson. The team declined to offer either player an extension, but Kings can make both players restricted free agents at the end of the season … The Kings travel to the Bay Area on Saturday night to play the Golden State Warriors for the first time in the regular season. The Warriors will make their first appearance in Sacramento on Sunday 12/1 … The Kings won the season series versus the Warriors in 2012-13 3-1 … Because of the many connections between Sacramento and Golden State, the Kings are anxious to eliminate the references to “golden state light” that some have made about the team.

Kings Score Big Over Clippers

By Tony Renteria

Sacramento, CA–The Hometown Sacramento Kings continued the pre seaon by A convincing win over the visiting Los Angles Clippers, 99-88. The Kings were led by a very aggressive DeMarcus Cousins who Kings with 31 points on 11-18 shooting from the field.

The Clippers limped into the game with out All Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Sacramento Native Matt Barnes was also out of this game. With out the leadership of Paul and the Interior Power of Griffin, Cousins worked his way close to the basket and scored seemingly at will during the first half.

The Clippers were lead by Jamal Crawford and his 25 points.

This game puts both teams at 2-1 for the pre season. The Clippers head to Phoenix to play the Suns tomorrow While the Kings Host the same Suns on Thursday.