Notebook: Clippers 117, Kings 101
April 12, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
NBA PRESS RELEASE
THE FACT:Three Clippers flirted with triple-doubles before coming up short.
THE LEAD: Blake Griffin led the way with 27 points as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Sacramento Kings 117-101 Saturday at Staples Center to match a franchise record with their 56th win of the season. The Clippers first won 56 games last year, accomplishing the feat with a 112-108 victory against Sacramento on the final day of the regular season. The Clippers are now 56-24, the Kings 27-53.
QUOTABLE: "They just got whatever they wanted the whole night. It was just layup, after layup, after layup."
THE STAT: Chris Paul was in control from start to finish in this one and a closer look at the box score reveals his dominance, particularly on the offensive end of the floor. He was 6-for-14 from the field and had 17 points, to go along with 10 assists and seven rebounds.
TURNING POINT: The Clippers opened the second half with a sense of urgency, Griffin in particular. He scored 12 points, including a 3-pointer, in the third quarter to help Los Angeles build a 14-point lead with 1:53 left in the period. The Kings tried to make things interesting but never quite recovered after that as Griffin finished with nine rebounds and four assists, in addition to his 27 points, in 36-plus minutes of action.
HOT: The Kings' DeMarcus Cousins could not be stopped, finishing with 32 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, two blocks and a pair of steals.
NOT: The Kings have not won on the road this season against a playoff contender. Good news is: Sacramento only has two more games and both of them are at Sleep Train Arena.
GOOD MOVE: With 1:10 remaining in the third quarter, Griffin drove down the lane and, after receiving a pass from Matt Barnes, skied toward the rim and dunked over and around both Cousins and Reggie Evans.
BAD MOVE: DeAndre Jordan stepped in the passing lane for a steal at the 11:50 mark of the first quarter and raced to the basket on a clear breakaway -- only to miss an unchallenged one-handed dunk. He could only smile as teammates immediately ribbed him about the mishap. When all was said and done, though, Jordan had 21 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks in 34-plus minutes.
QUOTABLE II: "U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi, you ugly!"
NOTABLE: Jamal Crawford returned to the lineup for the first time in five games and his once strained left calf did not prevent him from scoring 10 points for the Clippers, including a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to seal the deal. ... After missing two games with a back problem, Rudy Gay was back in uniform for the Kings and had 16 points in 34-plus minutes. ... Isaiah Thomas missed his 10th straight game for Sacramento with a quad issue and is doubtful for Sunday's game with Minnesota. He still could be in uniform for Wednesday's finale against Phoenix, provided he passes a battery of tests. ... Also suffering from a left calf injury, Danny Granger is close to a return and the plan is for him to be available for the Clippers before the start of next week's playoffs.
UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Tuesday vs. Denver, Wednesday @ Portland. For the Kings, Sunday vs. Minnesota, Wednesday vs. Phoenix.