Instant Replay: Cousins goes off, but comeback falls short to Clippers

Instant Replay: Cousins goes off, but comeback falls short to Clippers


SACRAMENTO -- Same starting lineup, same result for the Sacramento Kings. A slow start to the game leads to a huge deficit. A mad race to catch up falls short. Something’s got to give.

The Kings fell to 4-9 on the season Friday night when the Los Angeles Clippers jumped all over the home team early and then hung on for the 121-115 win in front of an dissapointed Golden 1 Center crowd.

J.J. Redick fueled the high-powered Clippers from the opening tip. The 11-year NBA veteran literally ran circles around the Kings defense on his way to 26 points on 6-for-8 shooting from deep.

When Redick wasn’t dropping in triples, Blake Griffin was throwing passes off the backboard to himself. The athletic big dropped in 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the rout.

DeAndre Jordan chipped in a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double and Austin Rivers added 12 points in 30 minutes off the bench as the Clippers sent Sacramento to their fourth straight loss.

Chris Paul barely missed a triple-double for LA, finishing the night with 12 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.

Two trends have started through the Kings’ first 13 games. They dig big early holes and spend the rest of the game trying dig out of them and DeMarcus Cousins dominates Sacramento’s opponents. Cousins finished the night with 38 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, but like plenty of other nights, it wasn’t enough.

Veteran Ty Lawson got his offense going for one of the few time this season. The 29-year-old point guard had shot just 5-of-25 over the Kings’ previous six games. Playing alongside Darren Collison for much of the night, he managed to have a breakout game, dropping in a season-high 18 points He added eight assists and grabbed six in the loss.

Collison had a quality game as well off Dave Joerger’s bench. Collison started the second half for Kosta Koufos as the Kings went small and added 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Matt Barnes added 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the second unit.

STANDOUT PERFORMER -- The Kings are still chasing the ghost of J.J. Redick around the perimeter. The 32-year-old shooting guard led the league last season in 3-point shooting percentage, knocking down 47.5 percent starting alongside Paul. He lit Sacramento’s guards up for 14 points in the first quarter on 4-of-4 shooting from downtown on his way to a 26 point night.

TURNING POINT -- Sacramento slept walked through the first quarter against San Antonio on Wednesday night and it was like deja vu all over again Friday versus the Clippers. They trailed by 16 coming out of the first quarter and by as many as 26 in the second. The Kings got to within two points late, but you can’t fall behind like this to a top tier team and expect to win.

INJURY UPDATE -- The Kings escaped another game without injury. Georgios Papagiannis was recalled from the Reno Bighorns early Friday, giving Joerger 13 healthy bodies to choose from.

WHAT'S NEXT -- The Kings are back at it again on Sunday when they host the Toronto Raptors for game three of their five-game homestand at Golden 1 Center.

Carter passes Ewing on all-time scoring list


Carter passes Ewing on all-time scoring list

SACRAMENTO -- Moving on up. Vince Carter came into Monday evening’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons needing just five points to surpass Patrick Ewing for 22nd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He got that and a little more.

Carter, 41, picked off a Pistons pass in the second quarter and hammered down a breakaway dunk to score his first two points of the evening. He knocked down a jumper in the lane before halftime to get within one point of Ewing and then moved ahead of the 7-footer with a 3-pointer in the third quarter.

The 20-year NBA veteran now sits at 24,817 points. He is 375 points behind the great Jerry West’s 25,192, who currently sits in 21st place on the all-time list.

Joerger faces tough decision with Bogdanovic out vs Pistons


Joerger faces tough decision with Bogdanovic out vs Pistons

SACRAMENTO -- It’s time for some home cooking. The Sacramento Kings open a six-game homestand Monday night at Golden 1 Center. They’ll host a struggling Detroit Pistons team that has lost three straight and seven of their last eight.

The Kings battled the Utah Jazz all the way down the wire Saturday evening at Vivint Smart Home Arena, before falling in the final minute. Buddy Hield put up 20-plus points for his third straight game to lead Sacramento.

Detroit looked like a playoff team for much of the season and then the wheels fell off their bus. They have plenty of talent, but so far, they are struggling to find chemistry since acquiring All-Star Blake Griffin at the deadline.

Pistons by 3.5

Skal Labissiere vs. Blake Griffin -- The Kings have struggled to contain Griffin throughout his career. Whether he starts or not, second-year big Skal Labissiere is likely to see plenty of time against the high-scoring power forward. Labissiere is averaging 11.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 27 minutes a game in March. He needs to move his feet and avoid foul trouble against Griffin.

Kings: 23-48, fourth place in Pacific

Pistons: 30-39, fourth place in Central

Kings: SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (left hamstring soreness) out, SG/SF Iman Shumpert (knee rehab/plantar fasciitis) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out for the season.

Pistons: PG Reggie Jackson (ankle) out, PF Jon Leuer (ankle) out.

Decisions, Decisions -- With Bogdanovic out for the evening, Dave Joerger has a tough choice to make. Does he elevate Hield into the starting lineup and disrupt his bench unit? Or does he start veteran Garrett Temple alongside De’Aaron Fox. Hield has earned a look with the starters, but he’s on fire with the second team.

Keep Fighting -- Plenty of fans want the Kings to lay down and preserve their spot in the NBA’s Draft Lottery. The Kings are trying to build a winning culture around a group of young players. They are developing an identity as the season heads towards its conclusion and there is no reason to let up.

Shoot the 3-ball -- The Kings trail only the Golden State Warriors in 3-point percentage. They hit 14-of-21 from behind the arc against the Jazz, but that’s not enough. The goal should be 30 threes per game from here on out. The team has the shooters, they just need to hoist it up more often.

The Pistons lead the season series 1-0 and are looking for the sweep. Detroit holds a 134-119 advantage over the Kings all-time and a 37-26 edge during the Sacramento-era.