SACRAMENTO -- Kings head coach Dave Joerger mixed and matched his lineups all night long looking at new combinations that might find success once the regular season tips off next week. Sacramento kept it close early, but without their full arsenal of players, they struggled to maintain consistent play throughout 48 minutes and fell to the Los Angeles Clippers by a final of 92-89.
Like most nights, DeMarcus Cousins was the Kings’ biggest contributor on the offensive end. The two-time All-Star demolished the Clipper DeAndre Jordan for 23 points, eight rebounds and a pair of assists in 26 minutes. Cousins picked up his first technical of the preseason, but continued to show that he is in midseason form with his play.
Kosta Koufos had a big night starting alongside Cousins in the post. The 7-footer played well without the ball and his teammates found him for open dunks throughout the game. Koufos finished the night with 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting and added four rebounds in 21 minutes of action.
Ben McLemore started at the two for Arron Afflalo and struggled staying with J.J. Redick. Redick scored a team-high 18 points for Los Angeles on 3-for-6 from long range. McLemore managed 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting and added five assists and six rebounds.
Prepping for life without Darren Collison for the first eight games of the season, Joerger brought his starting point guard off the bench and found mixed results. Collison and Ty Lawson played effectively together as a backcourt unit at times, but there they need more time together to form chemistry. Collison posted nine points on 2-of-7 shooting and Lawson scored five points and handed out four assists in the loss.
With trade rumors swirling, Rudy Gay struggled both from the field and holding onto the ball. The veteran forward scored six points on 3-for-10 shooting and turned the ball over six times in 30 minutes.
STANDOUT PERFORMER -- Redick torched the Kings from the perimeter. When Sacramento tried to make a run, the sharpshooting guard out of Duke made a play.
TURNING POINT -- The Kings made a late run in the fourth, drawing to within three inside of 10 seconds, but their early quarter shooting woes were too much to overcome as they fell to 3-3 in the preseason.
INJURY UPDATE -- Arron Afflalo missed his first game of the preseason while nursing a strained glute. During pregame, he told CSN California that he is fine and fully expects to play in next week’s opener. Matt Barnes missed the game as well. The 36-year-old wing caught an elbow in the ribs from Draymond Green last week against the Warriors and has been slow to heal up. Like Afflalo, he is expected to be ready for the opener.
WHAT'S NEXT -- The Kings open the regular season against the Phoenix Suns next Wednesday at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. They return home the next night to play their first regular season home game at the Golden 1 Center against the San Antonio Spurs.