The Clippers kept things close in the first half without Kawhi Leonard, but were blown out in the second, losing 109-95 to the desperate Kings.


The Clippers were extremely sloppy on offense the first few minutes of the game, but fortunately their defense was better, and the Kings could not take advantage. At the 6:57 mark, the score was just 8-5. Paul George hit two threes in the next 90 seconds to grow the Clippers’ lead, but the Kings kept answering. Amir Coffey and Brandon Boston Jr. checked in shortly after Russ, with Harden returning late for PG and Theis coming in for Zu. After one, the game was tied 24-24.

The Clippers’ second unit was abysmal. The Kings went up 4, and Norm came in for Russ. That didn’t matter. The Kings went up 9, and Mann came in for Boston. That didn’t matter. Finally, the Kings got the lead out to 16 with around 7 to go, and Zu and PG came back in. Almost immediately, the Clippers’ dormant offense woke up. A swift run got the lead down to as few as four before the Kings started scoring again, and the halftime score was 56-51 Kings with the momentum back to around even.

The third quarter is where things went downhill in a hurry. Harden looked dead tired, missing two wide open threes, and Barnes hit two the other way to quickly put the Kings up 10. Russ checked in early for Harden, btu while Russ brought energy, he also continued the Harden trend of bad turnovers. As Kings’ offensive rebounds, Clippers’ turnovers, and Kings’ open shots piled up, the game began to slip away. Ty went with a micro-ball, no center unit of Russ-Harden-BBJ-Amir-PG to end the quarter, and it was as bad as expected. After three, the Kings led 91-70 and had all the momentum.

The Clippers kept key guys out to start the 4th, but the game was over, and the Kings went up 26. Ty gradually started throwing in the towel, though Russ remained in most of the period for conditioning along with Amir and Theis (Bones and BBJ rounded it out). For once, the Clippers’ garbage time unit played ok, but they never really made it interesting. The Kings got the easy win, and the Clippers’ three-game losing streak was mercilessly ended.


Norm, Zu Only Bright Spots: I’ll just quickly run down the whole Clippers’ roster here, but Norm (17 points on 4-7 shooting) and Zu (10 points albeit on miserable 5-14 from the field with 11 rebounds and solid defense) were the only Clippers who really had even decent games. PG was fine, but far, far too quiet in a game Kawhi didn’t play. Same with Terance. Russ scored a lot, but a lot of that was in garbage time and his decision-making and defense was awful. Amir and Theis both barely did anything. And Brandon Boston scored some in garbage time as well, but was bad on defense and missed several open looks when the Clippers were still competitive. That leaves Harden, who was absolutely dreadful with 6 points on 1-7 shooting and 5 turnovers. The Kings double teamed him to take away his scoring, and he couldn’t make them pay (nor, to be fair, could his teammates). Without Kawhi the Clippers needed scoring from Harden and he simply could not provide it.

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