For the second time in less than a month, the Sacramento Kings came into LA and beat the Clippers at Staples Center. Sacramento came away with a 112-103 win on Saturday afternoon in what was a generally dreary effort from the home team.

Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 31 points, but just 2 of those came in the fourth quarter. No other starter finished in double figures as the Clippers shot just over 39% from the field for the game. Lou Williams scored 24 off the bench, but he also finished with 8 turnovers. Reggie Jackson, who started in place of the injured Patrick Beverley in his Clippers debut, contributed 8 points and 4 assists on 3-for-9 shooting in 23 minutes. Paul George once again joined Beverley on the sidelines for this one.

The Kings got 20 points apiece from De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic, while Harry Giles impressively finished with a double-double (14 and 12) in 32 minutes. Kent Bazemore led the way for the Kings with 23 off the bench. The Kings made 2 more three-pointers than the Clippers did (12 to 10), while LAC committed 19 turnovers to Sacramento’s 13.

LAC came out flat, and they were never ultimately able to overcome it. The Clippers did take a lead in the fourth quarter, but the offense completely dried up in the game’s waning stages. Ivica Zubac finished with 8 points and 15 rebounds, but he did the vast majority of his damage before the intermission. Montrezl Harrell closed out the game by playing 17 straight minutes as Zu sat and watched from the bench.

Sluggish First Half

The Clippers mustered just 13 points in the first quarter, which was their lowest mark for a single frame all year long. LAC finished 4-for-24, which comes out to a robust 16.7% shooting from the field. The Kings, meanwhile, mustered 25 points despite hitting just a third of the shots they took. These early games generally suck, and this was no exception. At least through a quarter.

Things picked up in the late stages of the second quarter, especially once Kawhi Leonard and Lou Williams started to assert themselves offensively. LAC actually wound up scoring more points in the final 2 minutes of the half than they did in the entire first quarter. Thanks to back-to-back triples from Lou Williams and Reggie Jackson just before the end of the half, the Clips put together a 14-6 run to enter halftime with a manageable 54-48 deficit.

The fact that the Clippers trailed by just 6 after falling behind by as many as 2 touchdowns in the first half was pretty remarkable. The team got the usual great work from Ivica Zubac, who set a new single-half career-high with 13 rebounds. 6 of those boards came on the offensive glass.

Leonard (14) and Williams (12) led the way offensively for the Clippers in the game’s first 24 minutes, while the Kings randomly got 15 points off the bench from Kent Bazemore. De’Aaron Fox was getting to the rim seemingly at will, but fortunately for LAC he struggled to find the end product. Fox finished the half with 8 points on just 3-for-11 shooting from the field.

In all, Sacramento shot a shade under 40% in the half, while the Clippers shot 33.3%. The Clips also lost the turnover battle 10-4 in the first half, which made the 6-point deficit all the more remarkable.

Clippers Surged Back

The Clippers once again fell into an early double-digit hole early in the third before Kawhi powered them right back into the game. Leonard put 15 points on the board in the third alone, which gave him 29 on the day going into the final frame.

Lou helped keep the Clippers relevant in the first half with his scoring, he committed another pair of turnovers in the third to bring his total to 8 through the first 3 quarters. In spite of all that had gone wrong to that point, LAC had closed the gap to 88-82 heading into the fourth.

Alex Len, who I’m not sure if I remembered was on the Kings at the start of the day, got into a little dust-up with Montrezl Harrell early in the fourth, with both players receiving technicals as a result.

A driving layup from Sweet Lou with just under 9 to play closed the gap to just a point, and a tough bucket by Harrell through traffic gave the Clippers their first lead of the game at 95-94 on the very next possession. Lou scored again after another empty possession from Sacramento after that, which pushed the Clippers’ run to 12-4 since the Len-Harrell mini-kerfuffle.

The teams volleyed the lead back-and-forth over the next few minutes before another triple from R3ggie put Lawler’s Law into effect and gave LAC a 101-99 advantage.

Unfortunately, everything went downhill from there. The Clippers went the next 5 minutes of game time without a single point. Sacramento wasn’t exactly lighting it up offensively, but if you’re not going to score points, you’re probably not going to win.

Following a few Kings free throws, Bogdan Bogdanovic’s fourth triple of the game put Sacramento up 107-101, and a Harry Giles dunk a few possessions later gave the Kings an 8-point lead with under a minute left.

The Clippers will have Sunday off before returning to action on Monday night at home against the Memphis Grizzlies.

57 Comments

  • Avatar 8sp0rts8 says:

    that was one of the worst & most frustrating games i’ve ever seen in my life, on par w/the last time the Kings came to town. a 13 pt first quarter while missing 20 shots, all 5 Kings starters in double digits including Giles of all players, Kawhi doesn’t score a single point in the 4th until the game is already over, and of course Bazemore has 23 pts off the bench. last time it was Joseph w/16 off the bench.

    everything was set up perfectly to start off the 2nd half of the season on the right foot, w/Denver & Utah both losing last night, getting some well needed rest during the all star break, & having Reggie Jackson coming in to provide an extra spark & depth. instead, Clippers come out & lay an egg, losing 3 in a row for the first time this season.

    • Avatar AndreyDKS says:

      Sorry, guys, I prefer last season Clippers struggling and giving us heart attacks with Gallo and Shai then this years’ boring and bureucrat games.

  • Avatar PIKE4-3 says:

    It is absolutely unconscionable and unforgivable Zu hasn’t seen the floor in the last 15 min of this game.

    Doc’s blindness is past a point of tiresome.

    No way Morris who has NOT developed any chemistry in our rotation with our other players AND who is NOT a defender & who has NOT played well on the offensive end today should be getting the clutch mins with the game on the line.

    The FO surely must develop SOME method – while evaluating assets they’ve considered adding to our roster – of favorable methods for their integration with the rest of the team. Ie how those players fit within the puzzle, presumably weighing those advantageous angles versus the potential negative ones. In fact, I’m confident they engage in this practice in some light, as they’re too clever NOT to have. The acquisition of Landry Shamet last season is a prime example of this. So can they PLEASE lecture Doc Rivers?

    • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

      “So can they PLEASE lecture Doc Rivers?”

      Forget lecturing Doc. It’s not like he’s going to change at this point in his career. What this front office needs to be doing is searching for the right coach to replace Doc once he inevitably underachieves in the playoffs with this team.

    • Avatar Minion94 says:

      Well that depends in what the goal is. The end goal is to have Morris on the floor in the playoffs. You build chemistry and develop identity through practice in real games. If Morris is a piece to be in clutch time in the playoffs, he should be out there at the end of these last 30 regular season games to become better integrated. Agree that playing Harrell 15 straight minutes isn’t a good tactic though.

  • Avatar Scriabin says:

    Head Coach Ty Lue is sounding better every day…

  • Avatar Thegreatestshowman says:

    Took my family to the game and I want my money back.

    -Trez provides zero rim protection.
    -Lou give up as much as he scores.
    -MM is miscast in the 3 and “D” role. He needs a play or two run for him or why bother acquiring him. He also forgot to bow to box out like all our bigs.
    -Sham forgot how to shoot. Again.
    -Reggie wears a full back contraption with blinking red and green lights presumably to keep it loose. Scares me.
    -JG was a lone bright spot.
    -JG was the l

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    Hurtling toward a wasted season and a massive underachievement. This Clipper team seems to share the same choking DNA with their Lob City predecessors. The only common thread there is Doc. Sooo…

    • Avatar Thegreatestshowman says:

      Choking suggests there are high stakes involved. This team hasn’t played for anything, yet…

      • Avatar wwshep says:

        I guess we don’t care at all about playoff seeding. It’s going to be great facing Houston in round 1 without HCA.

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    Also did I ever mention how bad I hate the commenting functionality here?

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    I think the one word summary for what ails this team is simply CHEMISTRY.

    We severely lack team CHEMISTRY to the point where instead of 1+1=2 it’s like 1+1=0.

    It started with having key guys out all Summer not able to practice together. And all the injuries and constant in season lineup changes certainly haven’t helped. And even adding the talent we added at the trade deadline and via buyouts has just created even more challenges to get the team in sync and clicking on both offense and defense.

    With only 26 games to go and still having key players out we’re quickly running out of time to figure it out and build the CHEMISTRY needed to go deep into the playoffs.

    Only hope really is for PG13 and Bev to get back to full strength pronto and please NO MORE goddamn injuries. And then we need to start to string together some winning streaks to build confidence, consistency, and momentum.

    I’m not at all confident that is going to happen and if not then we gotta hope we can get this group right over the Summer and make something happen next year although the West will be even tougher with GSW back on the scene. As long as Kawhi and PG13 don’t bail on us in Summer 2021 we’ll always be a solid team but if one or both bail then we will be relegated to NBA purgatory. That’s the biggest fear about not winning a chip this year or next.

    • Avatar John Maclean says:

      Can you reserve some space for me up on that ledge? This team is a shit show right now and for all the reasons already posted we could get bounced early in the playoffs. We’re built well to compete with the Lakers but it’s pretty obvious now that the MO to beat us is to play at a quick pace and just shoot the lights of the three—which despite being ranked 6th in defending we stink when it matters. I’m going to try to clear my head by watching the fight tonight. Go Wilder!

      • Avatar wwshep says:

        The other MO is to play really physical defense against us because we have a tendency to get rattled on offense and give up lots of turnovers when teams play aggressive physical defense against us.

  • Avatar Rick Flair says:

    Clippers are the only team in the west that can beat the Lakers. I don’t trust the Clippers to make it to the Wcf to face the Lakers do you?

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      Nope.

      I think we end up against Houston in round 1 probably without HCA and they go nuts from 3 point range to knock us out of the playoffs.

  • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

    This was a godawful showing across the board. Really questioning if trading harkless was wise or not. Morris seems completely useless out there thus far. The Kings were just crisper and more physical.

    Hopefully they turn it around. Will be nice to get one of Bev or PG back soon.

    As far as 213 goes, sincerely hope it doesn’t devolve into the slog of misery that Clips Nation has become.

  • Avatar Alan Ng says:

    Kawhi was quoted “time is now to play better”

    You think he’s calling out Bev and PG to return?

    Apparently, he’s losing trust in the coach.

    • Avatar Notabandwagoner says:

      Hope not. Odd how much better we played without talent. I’m not feeling hopeless come playoffs as we have the horses, but the regular season hasn’t be nearly as enjoyable as last, or even Blake’s “rookie season.”

  • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

    Guys and gals, I’ve got a question. On a 10 scale, how valid is the Clips excuse (for today’s performance) that it was the first game back from the AS break so rust and maybe a lack of motivation was to be expected.

    Doc would probly give that excuse an 8.5. I’d give it a 5. You?

    As far as MM is concerned, I’m hoping v. hope that the break WAS THE REASON why he was sooo bad today.

    • Dooley Womack Dooley Womack says:

      Lawman, glad to see you here. In answer to your query, I’d probably rate the validity of that (latest) excuse as 3. Doc is underperforming.

    • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

      The excuses stopped being valid months ago. This roster is simply too talented to justify the results we’re seeing, even with players out.

      If we had a Stevens/Bud/Spo type of coach, our depth would actually show up in the box score because our players would actually be put in position to succeed. In all the years Doc’s been here, I can’t think of one player where I’ve felt his system has brought the best out of them.

    • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

      Don’t the Kings have the same excuse?

    • Avatar Ric N. Caric says:

      The Achilles Heel of this team was always going to be injuries. Clips management has done a great job of building up the basketball talent for the franchise. But George, Kawhi, and Pat Bev have all had nagging injuries and it’s kept the team from meshing. I expect the Clips to recover health and march through the playoffs. But I don’t think there’s anybody to blame except bad circumstances if it doesn’t happen.

    • Avatar Notabandwagoner says:

      I’d give it a zero. Maybe they start off sluggish, but the whole game? That’s inexcusable for a team of “professionals” who claim they want to be champions.

  • Avatar sjake says:

    Yeh gads. I hate to say it, but Doc is on thin ice. If Clips get knocked out in 1st/2nd round, I think a change is made.

    Lou’s turnovers are just demoralizing as they typically go the other way for a dunk. His saving grace is that he can be a one-man wrecking crew for about a 3-minute stretch on offense. MM seems like a knucklehead. I really hope I’m wrong. It just seems like MM is a loser mentality type of player doing all the little things that make a team lose…missed box out at the wrong time, stupid offensive foul for no good reason, scowling on a bad call as opposed to getting your ass back on D.

    The scary part is this team has soooo much talent, they could get through the first two rounds on that alone.

    I just really disliked watching this team play today. Hopefully they buckle down and start playing consistently hard. OK…I’ve vented, I’m good now.

  • Dooley Womack Dooley Womack says:

    That’s a good question.

  • Avatar Killaclip says:

    That sucked. Injuries are a issue but man do we have some leadership issues from coaching down. No more full bench units and please no more 17 minutes stretches

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      Doc can’t seem to figure anything out. It’s like the inmates are running the asylum. Doc must be the most overrated coach in the NBA hands down.

  • Avatar sjake says:

    It was a bad game. Not end of world. If they lose badly to Memphis, time to start doubting this team. I believe there going to come out with foot on the gas.

  • Dooley Womack Dooley Womack says:

    Lucas and/or Robert and/or ?, thank you for taking care of that.

    • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

      Doing my best to learn the new moderation system. Fwiw I have banned over a dozen of his accounts and deleted hundreds of comments this week (get a fucking life, dude). But I can only do that when I’m actually logged on, at my computer.

      • Avatar wwshep says:

        Is there no way to blacklist his IP address?… Also WTF is the major malfunction with Lakers fans like him. Why can’t he just focus on his team instead of being obsessed with the Clippers. Like some kind of mental illness.

      • Dooley Womack Dooley Womack says:

        Of course, understood. Jesus, what a nutjob. You’re doing great, keep it up. Super glad to have 213 Hoops, and hope more of the old guard will show up here.

      • Avatar wwshep says:

        He’s going to town again over in the Forum section. Dude is like a virus. Seemingly can’t be stopped from infecting this website. 🙁

      • Avatar chogokin says:

        It’s amazing how much better the comments and forums look when that personification of a tumor’s comments aren’t here. Like seriously, all trolls are annoying, but at least witty ones can be fun – that dude had the intellect and spelling/grammar of a 3rd grader. Thanks for all the work that you guys do in keeping things clean.

    • Avatar Clipperfernald says:

      This is getting way beyond ridiculous. Lou can play with any big! It doesn’t have to be only Montrezl. Doc acts like they’re attached at the hip. Give Zubac the court time he deserves!!!

  • Avatar Sweet Lou says:

    A bad loss but still with no 2 key players. Most importantly is the absent of Patrick Beverly.
    He’s the heart and soul of this team , the big dawg. once he comes back , things will turn.

  • Avatar Oodypkt says:

    Well, 26 more regular season games to play for.
    When we get PG & Bev back, hope we start to gel and get better.
    I have no idea about Doc’s rotation, but if he is one of the reason Kawhi choose us. Maybe he has something up his sleeve.
    Go clips!

  • Avatar osamu says:

    On a positive note. I kinda liked the 3 man booth with Chauncey and Corey. Chauncey seemed more comfortable talking to another NBA player and Corey got him to open up a little bit.

    • Dooley Womack Dooley Womack says:

      I also liked this and hope they continue it. Not impressed by the TV version of Sieman. Thought he was fun on radio, less so on television. Young Noah Eagle on the other hand is brilliant. Only 22 and fresh out of Syracuse U., maybe he will be the next great LA sportscaster.

      • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

        Eagle is a hidden gem. He came and spoke at our box suite and the dude is just as polished live in a room full of strangers.