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What we learned as Kings beat Clippers, move above .500

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Not this time.

After losing their first two matchups to the Los Angeles Clippers this season by a combined 57 points, the Kings were ready on Super Bowl Sunday. 

Despite playing less than 24 hours earlier at Golden 1 Center, the Kings were forceful and played with a grit that they’ve shown during their current hot streak. They held Kawhi Leonard in check and found a way to hold on for the 113-110 victory at Staples Center.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings pick up their fourth straight win and move back over the .500 mark on the season at to 12-11. 

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De’Aaron Fox came into Sunday riding a five-game streak of scoring 20 points or more. He extended the run before the Kings could get out of the third quarter. 

Sacramento’s budding star was dominant early and when he rejoined the lineup in the mid-fourth quarter, he started bombing away.

Fox finished with a game-high 36 points on 15-of-25 shooting. He added seven assists and turned the ball over just once in 36 minutes of action.

Buddy finds his range

Buddy Hield watched his 87 game 3-point streak end on Saturday against the Nuggets when he missed all nine of his shots from distance. He followed that up with five straight misses to open the game against the Clippers to run his total to 17 straight bricks over a three game period.

And then Buddy caught fire.

Hield hit three straight 3-pointers to get himself going. He finished the game with 22 points on 3-of-9 shooting from behind the arc and chipped in nine rebounds in the win.

 
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Rookie magic

In case you’ve missed the memo, Tyrese Haliburton is really good. The rookie out of Iowa State once again put on a show with the game on the line. 

After a slow start, the 20-year-old guard got it going in the fourth, scoring eight points in the period to help keep the Kings close. 

Haliburton set a new career high like he had in the previous two games, but he finished with 13 points, six assists and a steal to lead the Kings’ second unit.