CK Press Box Report: Sacramento Kings 116, Los Angeles Clippers 101

by Jonathan Santiago & James Ham


The Los Angeles Clippers’ highlight reel was no match for the Sacramento Kings tonight.  Sacramento’s offense rolled the Kings to a 116-101 victory over the visiting Clippers at Sleep Train Arena on Tuesday evening.

Six Kings scored in double figures, including four of their five starters.  Marcus Thornton led all Kings scorers with 25 points off the bench, including 6-of-10 from three-point land. The Kings have now scored 100 or more points in 16 of their last 18 games, including their last nine at home.

The Kings improve to 24-44 overall and 18-15 at the arena in Natomas.  They return to action in two days when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday.

– Jonathan Santiago

Notes and Analysis

  • Toney Douglas was huge, scoring 17 of his 19 points in the deciding fourth quarter.  Since joining the Kings, Douglas has earned minutes with his defensive play, but tonight, he saved the day with three 3-pointers, including a 29-footer to beat the shot clock with just over two minutes remaining.
  • Marcus Thornton continued his hot shooting, finishing with a team-high 25 points on 7-for-14 shooting from the field.  He added four rebounds, four assists and a steal in 30 minutes of action.
  • After missing the previous two games with a left-quad contusion, DeMarcus Cousins returned to the Kings lineup and played very well.  In 28 minutes of action, Cousins scored 17 points on 6-for-10 shooting and added 11 rebounds while struggling with foul trouble.
  • Tyreke Evans had a balanced 17-point, five-assist, four-rebound night for the Kings.  I feel like I am repeating myself, but this is the type of stat line the Kings need from this kid if they hope to improve.
  • Patrick Patterson has been a revelation since coming over from Houston at the trade deadline.  The third-year pro knows exactly who he is as a player, something rare on this Kings roster.  Patterson scored 13 points on 6-for-10 shooting and grabbed five rebounds in 26 minutes of play.  Over his last six games, he has hit 9-for-12 from behind the arc.
  • Keith Smart ran Jimmer Fredette out for five minutes in the second quarter and Jamal Crawford lit him up for 11 points.  Two points here: first up, Crawford is an elite offensive six man and a bad match-up for Jimmer.  Second, Jimmer didn’t really play that bad defensively; Crawford just hit some tough shots.  The good sign was that while Crawford was going at Jimmer, the second-year guard returned the favor on the other end.
  • Stat of the Day: The Kings hit an incredible 14-for-28 from 3-point land, including 5-for-8 in the deciding fourth quarter.
– James Ham

Three answers to three questions pondered

1.  Will DeMarcus Cousins miss a third-consecutive game due to injury?

Cousins was back in the lineup and made an immediate impact for the Kings.  He looked spry and his movement wasn’t restricted by the left-quad contusion that sidelined him for a week.  He got rolling in the first half where he scored 12 points, but slowed down after intermission due to foul trouble.  Still, Cousins finished the night with a respectable 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting and 11 rebounds in the 116-101 win.

2.  Over/Under: Four dunks combined by DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin.

Jordan and Griffin had no trouble surpassing the over/under on dunks this evening.  The Clippers frontline tandem combined for six dunks alone by halftime.  They would finish with all 11 of the Clippers’ dunks tonight.  Unfortunately, dunks are only worth two points.  The Kings, meanwhile, dominated the three-point line, finishing 50 percent from distance.

3.  Will Patrick Patterson continue to be a factor offensively for the Kings?

Patterson didn’t score 20, but he didn’t need to tonight.  The Kings power forward finished with an efficient 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting off the Kings’ bench.  Patterson was one of the six Kings players to score in double figures in the 15-point victory.

– Jonathan Santiago

Quotes of the Game

DeMarcus Cousins on coming back from injury:

I feel like it was a rough start.  I was a little winded, but as the game got going, I was fine.  So it was a big comeback.

Jamal Crawford on the Kings and tonight’s game:

We weren’t able to slow them down.  We had our moments where we were played well and they scored 38 points in the fourth quarter.

Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro on their three-point defense:

Sense of urgency, closing slow instead of closing and running guys off and tonight we ran guys off.  But then we were following them.  They had 30 free throws in the second half.  Our bigs have to get up.  Our guards got to get in.  Things that we were doing earlier in the season where we were pretty good at it.  We’ve drilled it.  We’ve worked on it and now we have to translate that to the game for 48 minutes.

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