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.