(SportsNetwork.com) – The Los Angeles Clippers will try to stay unbeaten this
season when they welcome Pacific Division rivals, the Sacramento Kings, to the
Staples Center Sunday afternoon.
The Clips started the season with a tough victory over the Oklahoma City
Thunder, who were without Kevin Durant and lost Russell Westbrook for a month
when he broke his hand in the game.
On Friday, the Clippers dispatched their fellow Staples Center residents, the
Los Angeles Lakers, 118-111.
Blake Griffin scored a game-high 39 points to lead the Clippers. Jamal
Crawford had 22 points and five assists off the bench, JJ Redick supplied 15
points and Chris Paul scored 12 points with 10 assists for the Clippers
DeAndre Jordan finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds in the win.
“Jamal and Blake made some unbelievable shots down the stretch,” said Paul.
“We know we can score. Our defense has to be our backbone.”
Crawford scored five straight points to pull the Clippers within two and
consecutive dunks from Jordan tied the game at 97-97 with 7:55 to play.
After the Clippers went ahead on Crawford’s free throw, Griffin dished a pass
to Crawford, who hit a three from the right side for a 112-109 score with 1:37
The Clips made free throws to ice the victory.
The Kings collected their first win of the season on Friday night with a
103-94 home triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers. Sacramento hasn’t played
on the road yet this season until Sunday.
The victory over the Blazers could’ve been dubbed, “The Rudy Gay Show.”
Gay tallied a game and season-high 40 points in the win. As someone who has
been criticized by the analytics community, Gay was incredibly efficient on
Friday thanks to 13-of-19 from the floor including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc,
He went 11-of-13 from the foul line.
“I just wanted to be aggressive,” said Gay, who also grabbed eight rebounds
and committed zero turnovers. “I tried to make plays better and took what they
DeMarcus Cousins and Darren Collison each contributed 17 points for the Kings,
who shook off a season-opening 18-point loss to Golden State on Wednesday. In
that setback, the Kings committed an astounding 27 turnovers, but only had 10
miscues on Friday.
Sacramento held the Trail Blazers to 41 percent field-goal shooting and 34.6
percent from long range.
The Clippers have won five in a row versus the Kings, but their dominance
extends far past the last two seasons. LA is 13-2 in its last 15 against
Sacramento and has taken seven straight as the host in this series.