Kings bitten by 'the fallacy of the made shot' in tough loss to Clippers

Kings bitten by 'the fallacy of the made shot' in tough loss to Clippers

SACRAMENTO -- It’s better to be lucky than good. Or maybe not. The Sacramento Kings walked all over the Los Angeles Clippers in the first half Saturday evening at Golden 1 Center, but the types of shots they were getting proved to be unsustainable.

When they started missing those same looks in the second half, the game completely spun out of control.

“In the second half we struggled,” coach Dave Joerger said during post game. “Sometimes I think it’s maybe the fallacy of the made shot. Shots are falling for you. You can be doing a lot of things wrong and you can compensate and overcome that.”

Sacramento shot a scorching 58.5 percent in the first half, including 7-of-10 shooting from behind the arc. Despite allowing the Clippers to shoot 51.2 percent on the other end, they still managed a 61-47 lead going to the intermission.

“We honestly didn’t play that great, we made shots in the first half,” Garrett Temple said following the game. “We honestly should have been up 20 point, 22 points in the first half.”

The Kings came out strong in the third, scoring the first four points of the quarter to take an 18-point lead, but then the game switched.

With the Clippers tightening their defense, the same shots stopped falling for Sacramento and the result was a stunning 17-0 run by the visiting team. After hitting 1-of-14 3-point attempts in the first half, Los Angeles knocked down 6-of-8 from behind the arc in the third quarter to track down the Kings and eventually pass them.

“You know they’re going to put their hands on you in the second half and they’re going to come out and and be a little bit more physical,” Joerger said. “They came out and made shots, made plays and got loose balls.”

[INSTANT ANALYSIS: Kings rally late to tie it, but Clippers win in final seconds]

Veteran guard Lou Williams rattled off three straight long bombs in the span of 63 seconds to cut the Kings lead from 18 to nine. His fourth triple of the quarter came minutes later as he tied the game at 67-67.

“They made the shots they were missing in first half, they made them in the third,” Temple said.

Los Angeles used a 29-10 third quarter to take a 76-71 lead into the fourth. They pushed the lead as high as 10 in the quarter, but Buddy Hield almost single-handedly kept Sacramento in the game.

The second-year guard dropped in 16 of his team-high 27 in the quarter, including four 3-point makes in the final five minutes of the game.

“It was a good game, we stuck in there, we fought through, but we just need to do a better job of keeping leads and not letting teams get back,” Hield said. “This is the NBA. Teams go on runs. Stuff happens. Everything’s not perfect how you want it to go. You’ve just got to learn from this experience.”

Riding the hot shooting of Hield, the Kings managed to tie the game with 15.6 seconds remaining. But Blake Griffin’s 10-foot fadeaway over Willie Cauley-Stein gave LA the lead with 3.2 seconds remaining.

Joerger ran a play out of a timeout for Hield, trying to give the 23-year-old a shot to be the hero. Hield couldn’t get around the Clippers defenders and his shot didn’t even draw glass.

“Maybe I’ve got to do a crossover, stepback - something to get the shot off,” Hield said. “But I’ll learn.”

With the loss, Sacramento dropped to 4-5 on their home floor and 5-14 overall. They continue to show signs of development, but learning to win is a tough step for a young and inexperienced basketball team.

Gameday: Kings welcome struggling Clippers in Sacramento

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USATSI

Gameday: Kings welcome struggling Clippers in Sacramento

SACRAMENTO -- Home is where the heart is. The Kings improved to 4-4 at Golden 1 Center with their win over the Lakers on Wednesday night. They’ll draw another Los Angeles team on Saturday when the Clippers swing by Sacramento.

Zach Randolph put up a season-high 22 points against the Lakers, but it was the bench that stood out in the victory. Willie Cauley-Stein’s 26 paced a group of reserves that finished the evening with a combined 67 points. Sacramento boasts the highest scoring second unit in the NBA and the starters are showing signs of improvement.

After losing nine straight, the Clippers picked up a win last time out against the Atlanta Hawks. They’ve struggled with injuries and inconsistency early in the campaign. The post-Chris Paul era has not been kind to Los Angeles so far. 

BETTING LINE 

Clippers by 4

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Skal Labissiere vs. Blake Griffin -- Labissiere is getting on the job training each and every night he steps on the floor. One evening it’s Kenneth Faried, the next it’s Kyle Kuzma. The power forward spot used to be all about rebounding and physicality, now no two bigs are alike. Griffin has struggled with injuries over the last few seasons, but he’s versatile, athletic and loves to stuff the stat sheet. If Labissiere can stay out of foul trouble and hit his open shots, the Kings have a shot to make it two wins in a row.

WHERE THEY STAND 

Kings: 5-13, fifth place in Pacific

Clippers: 6-11, fourth place in Pacific

INJURY REPORT 

Kings: PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out until January.

Clippers: PG Patrick Beverley (knee) out, PG Milos Teodosic (foot) out, SF Danilo Gallinari (hip) out.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE -- The Kings have a legitimate chance to move above .500 on the season with the Clippers coming to town. They’ll face a veteran team that isn’t used to losing, but injuries and roster changes have them scuffling. 

BOGI FINDING A NICHE -- The Kings roster is filled with rookies, but Bogdan Bogdanovic is different. The 25-year-old Serbian has patiently tried to work his way into the Kings system and after 18 games, we are starting to see him find his sea legs. He needs to stay aggressive and keep finding Cauley-Stein on the alley-oop.

Frank the Tank -- Frank Mason III continues to thrive as the Kings backup point guard. Since earning rotational minutes four games ago, the 23-year-old out of Kansas is averaging 9.5 points and 4.5 assists in 22 minutes a game. He’s putting pressure in the backcourt on opposing guards on one end. On the other side of the ball, he’s knocking down 46.7 percent of his 3-point shots. 

SERIES HISTORY 

The Clippers took the season series 3-1 last season, with the Kings only win coming at Staples Center in March. The Kings own a 113-86 lead in the all-time series and a 69-63 advantage during the Sacramento-era 88-47.

Doc Rivers: 'Every team has weaknesses, even Golden State'

Doc Rivers: 'Every team has weaknesses, even Golden State'

On Monday night in Los Angeles, the Warriors clobbered the Clippers by 28 points.

On Monday morning, ESPN's Zach Lowe wrote a feature on the new-look Clippers.

In the column, Doc Rivers said the following:

"Every team has weaknesses, even Golden State."

[REWIND: Rivers: Warriors lucky they didn't face Clippers or Spurs]

Immediately after the quote, Lowe wrote in parentheses: "Don't poke the bear, Doc!"

Too late.

Who knows if the Warriors got wind of Rivers' comment, but they certainly didn't show any weaknesses (well, they did turn the ball over six times in the third quarter) during the 141-113 win -- their 11th straight over the Clippers.

After the game, Rivers was very complimentary of the Warriors.

''I don't think they get enough credit defensively. It's amazing,'' Rivers told reporters. ''Whenever we talk about Golden State, we only talk about their offense. And I think their defense is what sets them apart.''

The next matchup between the Warriors and Clippers is not until Jan. 6 in Los Angeles.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller