DeMarcus Cousins Scores Season-High 38 In 121-115 Loss To Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers came to town looking for blood, in this case, powered-blue blood since the Sacramento Kings were wearing their 1985 retro uniforms. But on their way to a 121-115 victory at Golden 1 Center, the Clippers took some well-deserved punches, too.
Blake Griffin had 29 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, and J.J. Redick finished with 26 points, two rebounds and two assists in nearly 26 minutes for the Clippers (11-2). The Clippers almost blew a 26-point lead in the slugfest with the Kings.
“I give them credit,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of the Kings. “Coach (Joerger) went small and they got more patient in the game. You’re always happy to win the game, but we want to be better than that. Defensively is where it started and then in the second half we decided we were going to trade baskets with them.”
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, left, and Sacramento Kings player DeMarcus Cousins chat after the game at Golden 1 Center on Nov. 18, 2016.
DeMarcus Cousins had a season-high 38 points in the loss for the Kings (4-9), who, like they did against the San Antonio Spurs on Nov. 16, made a mad dash to catch up before the end of the game. Cousins also had 13 rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.
“Once again, we’re just waiting at the last minute to play with energy,” Cousins said. “I mean we gotta play with some pride and play with some heart. It’s all fun and exciting in the end, we feel like we’re playing great, and making the right stuff. But these games are going to continue to get harder for us if we wait until the last quarter.”
Ty Lawson had a season-high of 18 points while dishing out eight assists and grabbing seven boards in 36 minutes of action. Darren Collison added 16 points while Matt Barnes added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Kings.
Sacramento Kings' players Ty Lawson, No. 10, and Darren Collison, No. 7, try to prevent Los Angeles Clippers guard J.J. Redick, left, from attempting a 3-point basket. Redick made six treys in the first half.
The first half of the game looked really bad for the Kings, but all-too familiar. The Kings were down 40-24 in the first quarter and allowed the Clippers to expand the margin by 26 points when Luc Mbah a Moute made two free throws to make the score 63-37 with 4:05 left in the second quarter.
The Clippers got a lift from Redick who had 22 points in the first half. The former Duke University played knocked down six of his shots beyond the 3-point line in rapid-fire fashion. Redick seems to look good against the Kings every time his steps on the floor.
“When we play like that, (our guys) know J.J. got it going and they did whatever they could to get him the ball back,” Rivers said. “Other guys on our team can score but they knew he had it going so play to J.J. That’s the spirit we have to play with every night.”
The Clippers was 26-for-37 shooting from the floor (70.3 percent) and led 73-54 at the half. The Kings shot 21-for-49 from the field (42.9 percent in the first half.
In the second half, it was almost all about the Kings. Sacramento did trade baskets with the Clippers and finished the third quarter with 31 points apiece. Redick, who only played over four minutes in the third quarter made one of two shots.
In the fourth quarter, the Kings kept chipping away at the Clippers lead. The Clippers had a 19-point lead to start the final quarter, but a 29-13 run by the Kings, capped off by a 3-point shot by Lawson had the Kings trailing 117-114 with 2:23 remaining the game.
The Kings had to costly turnovers that allowed the Clippers to end the game on a 7-1 run. Redick was finished the second half with four points on 1-for-3 shooting, a woeful stat DeMarcus Cousins said the Kings could not take credit for on defense.
“He took (three) shots in the second half, right?,” Cousins said. “I really don’t think that was us. But he destroyed us tonight.”
Both teams ended up in the lost columns on Nov. 16, the Kings fell to the San Antonio Spurs 110-105 while the Clippers, at home, dropped a big game against the Memphis Grizzlies 111-107.
The Clippers will play the Chicago Bulls in Los Angeles on Nov. 19 and the Kings will stay at home to face the Toronto Raptors at 6:00 p.m. (PST) on Nov. 20.
Joerger said he will stick with a small lineup until further notice. The Kings are on a four-game losing streak and have not won a game since the Toronto victory on Nov. 6.
“I'm going to play small going forward,” Joerger said following the game. “I’ve seen enough. DeMarcus is going to play center. I don't know who else. I don't know who else is going to play with him but it gives us more zip."
The Kings will play the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, Nov. 20, at Golden 1 Center. The Kings beat the Raptors 96-91 in Toronto on Nov. 6, Sacramento’s last road victory.
By T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer