Kings vs. Clippers Preview: Roadkill edition

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings are in Los Angeles to take on the L.A. Clippers for their last road game of the year.

The last road game of the 2013-14 season is here, as the Kings are in Los Angeles to take on the Clippers (12:30 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and KHTK 1140).  The Kings haven't played the Clippers since November, when they faced them three times.  Each time the Kings managed to keep it close and interesting, and we'll see if fourth time's the charm.

0MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Ray McCallum vs. Chris Paul

Isaiah Thomas and Chris Paul have had some fun head to head matchups the past few years, but with Thomas likely out once again, it will be up to the rookie Ray McCallum to try to hold his own.  McCallum is coming off a fantastic game against Portland's Damian Lillard, but Paul is a much better defender.  I will be very interested to see how McCallum does against Paul on the defensive end as well.  Paul's one of the few guys who can go scoreless the entire game and still kill you with his precise passing, but he's also good enough that most of the time he's scores anyway.

3 THINGS

1. DeMarcus Cousins always seems to get really hyped to face the Clippers.  There might not be a team or player he dislikes more than the Clippers, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.  Cousins has been playing incredibly well lately, and if he can take it even further against the Clippers, that will be fun to see.  DeAndre Jordan gets a lot of attention as a defensive player, but there's a lot more to defense than blocking shots.  On another note, the Clippers actively try to get into Cousins' head each time we play them, so let's see if Cousins can keep his cool and not earn his 16th technical.

2. Under Doc Rivers, the Clippers have become the best offensive team in the NBA, with an offensive rating of 111.9 points per 100 possessions.  For comparison's sake, not even the glory-era Kings teams, widely regarded as some of the best offensive teams in history, ever had an offensive rating above 110.5.  These Clippers aren't nearly as good defensively, but they're still not bad, at 8th in the league.  This wouldn't be an easy game for Sacramento even at full strength.

3. Rudy Gay is back in action tonight after practicing with the team yesterday.  This will be his first game against the Clippers as a Sacramento King thanks to the scheduling quirk that saw us play them so much early on in the season.  One thing the Clippers don't have is a star wing player, so this could be a good opportunity for Rudy to do some damage.

PRE-GAME HAIKU

I hate the Clippers,
but we're not good enough really,
to have a rival.

PREDICTION

Kings 104, Clippers 123 as the Clippers prove too much down the stretch.  Also, no fan predictions today because of the really early start.

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