Kings Routed By Clippers

Photo courtesy Antonio R. Harvey

Clippers rout Kings 105-87 to end a frustrating 2019

ESPN Radio
January 02, 2020 - 9:20 am

By Charlie O. Mallonee @Charlieo1320

The Sacramento Kings (12-22) knew that their final contest of 2019 would be one of the most difficult games that they had played so far this season. Whenever you introduce Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the opponent's starting lineup, any team has a real fight on its hands.

Two feeds, two finishes.

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Many prognosticators believe that the Clippers will be one of the teams that will be fighting for a place in the NBA Finals in June 2020. With the Kings on a seven-game losing streak, they knew that getting back into the win column versus LAC would be difficult at best.

When the final horn sounded at the end of 48 minutes, the Clippers (24-11) had handed the Kings their eighth consecutive defeat, 105-87.

Luke Walton on the loss

“We talked about whose will was going to win out – that was the pregame message. We wanted to play fast. We know that this is a really good defensive team. They’re big, they’re versatile, they switch pretty much everything and keep people in front – makes it tough to create angles. They won out. There were a couple of stretches where we kind of got out and went, but for the most part, they kept us at a distance and they showed why they’re one of the top teams in the league. We got to learn from it, keep working, build and [have> high expectations for 2020. It’s going to be a better year, 2020 is. I thought Richaun [Holmes> was very solid again. I thought Buddy’s [Hield> effort was really good again as far as the things that talked to him about – as far as being locked in on defense, communicating, looking to create for others, all those types of things. I thought that he did a nice job again. Overall, they pushed us around out there and they had their way, so give them a lot of credit.”

This was not a pretty game

This contest lacked energy from the opening tipoff. Both teams seemed to be going through the motions without showing much desire to be on the court. The Clippers and Kings appeared to be playing out of obligation on Tuesday afternoon and not because they were excited to play NBA basketball.

Kawhi and George combined for 45 points but shot just 14-for-46 together to score those points. George did make it a double-double game by adding 11 rebounds and he also dished out nine assists. Leonard distributed seven assists.

The Clippers second unit – who many believe may be the best in the NBA – really provided the most energy in the game. The LAC bench outscored the SAC second unit 31-20. The Clippers Derrick Walton Jr. came off the bench to score 10 points in just under 19 minutes on the floor.

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers on Kawhi and Leonard making plays to compensate for their shooting: “I think they’ve done that – I think they’re both very unselfish. We ran a lot of stuff with PG [Paul George> early to get him going again and I thought he got it going after a while. But even when they’re not going [in>, still they hit the open guy. That’s all we ask them to do and they do that.”

The Kings had a problem scoring

Sacramento scored just 17 points in the second quarter and 14 points in the fourth quarter. No team – no matter how well they play defense – is going to win scoring so few points over 24-minutes of a game.

In his postgame comments, Luke Walton said his team is just too talented to score so few points in a quarter. Walton had a bit of an “edge and weariness” to his voice after the game on Tuesday.

Leading Scorers

  • Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 24 points for the victorious Clippers

Master of the midrange.

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  • Richaun Holmes put a team-high 22 points to go along with 10 rebounds in the book for the losing Kings

The Glass Cleaners

  • Ivica Zubac was the leading rebounder in the game with 13 including five rebounds on offense
  • Holmes was the Kings top rebounder with his 10

Dropping Dimes

  • Paul George spread the love to his teammates on New Year’s Eve dishing out nine assists
  • De’Aaron Fox distributed six assists to lead the Kings

Winner, winner - chicken dinner!

CLIPPERS WIN!

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The Clippers entered the game as the favorites -7 points. LAC won by 18. If you played the Clippers, please proceed to the pay window immediately.

The Over/Under for the game was 221. The final total was 192 – hope you played the under.

Up next

The Kings will be back in action on Thursday night when they host the Memphis Grizzlies at the Golden 1 Center.

The Clippers returned home to Los Angeles where they will play the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night.

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