Outmatched and overpowered. The Los Angeles Clippers dominated the Kings for the third time this season Sunday afternoon at Staples Center, and Sacramento ended its season-long road trip with a 122-108 loss.
After trailing by as many as 25 early, the Kings pulled within five on a couple of occasions late. But when the game was on the line, they couldn’t get shots fall and they couldn’t stop Montrezl Harrell from dunking.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings drop back to the .500 mark at 25-25 on the season.
Sacramento has no answer for Harrell. He’s an energy big that plays wreaks havoc in the post.
He destroyed the Kings’ front line in the first two matchups, and he did it again Sunday afternoon.
Harrell outmuscled Sacramento’s bigs, coming away with 25 points on 11-of-13 shooting. He also grabbed seven rebounds off the Clippers bench.
Keeping a body on Harrell is a difficult task and the Kings clearly weren’t up for the challenge.
The Kings looked completely flat, and then De’Aaron Fox woke up. The 21-year-old point guard opened the second half with a 3-pointer to get himself going, and then it was on.
Fox pushed the tempo, got to the rim and picked up the energy level of his team.
The sophomore guard finished the night with a team-high 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting. He added four rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Iman Shumpert has been in a monster slump that’s lasted most of January. Against the Clippers, he finally got a couple of shots to fall.
Shumpert finished the night with 16 points, six rebounds and two blocks. He shot 5-of-13 from the field, and hit 3-of-8 from behind the arc in 31 minutes of action.
The veteran wing had a couple of ill-advised attempts during crucial moments of the game, but the Kings need him to find his stroke.