(Be sure to check out Aykis16's report from ARCO, where he was the guest on the pregame XO Communications X-Over. And if you're feeling sinister, section214 has a related caption contest for you. Jimmy Kimmel jokes currently popular.)
The Kings versus the Clippers over the past two seasons: 6-2.
The Kings versus the rest of the league over the past two seasons: 36-117.
Here in Sacramento, right now, we take solace in minor victories. Luckily, against the Clippers, the minor victories sometimes look like massive victories. A 22-point win, even at home, even against a markedly bad team playing out the string, is a massive victory, if only because of how overmatched the Kings usually are. And it was worse last season! But the Kings still went 3-1 against L.A.
And it feels great. As the season has worn on, I find myself paying a bit less attention to the score, to the ebb and flow of the game, and instead watching specific players or matchups. Looking down and noticing a 19-point lead is something fantastic, I must say. And that's why you don't root for losses. You just root for the Warriors and Pistons -- Sacramento's lottery combatants -- to win.
Tyreke Evans shredded everyone in his path -- Mardy Collins, Rasual Butler, Steve Blake, Eric Gordon, Baron Davis. (And, uh, Drew Gooden. On the list of players who should under no circumstance switch onto Tyreke Evans on the perimeter, few rank higher than Drew Gooden.) Sam Amick, writing for FanHouse, noticed how dismal L.A.'s effort was, and it was impossible not to notice that in the first half. Chris Kaman essentially packed a double-double in a nice box, wrapped it, added a bow and a tag and handed it to Jason Thompson. Not that The Kid didn't work -- J.T. always works, and you don't pick up 22/15 in the NBA without working. But Kaman was completely flat-footed the entire first half. (In the third quarter, he picked it up a bit ... but only on the offensive end.)
The Clippers actually shot pretty well -- a rare occurence -- but the Kings limited fouls (only 11 FTAs for L.A.) and kept the Clips off the offensive glass (seven in 40 opportunities, or 17.5 percent, far lower than L.A.'s average of 27 percent). All told, the Clips ended up with an Offensive Rating of 104, one points per 100 possessions better than the team's average but below league average by about three points.
The Kings, meanwhile, scored incredibly efficiently, with a 128 Offensive Rating. Fourteen offensive rebounds in 39 opportunities (36 percent -- eight of them were won by J.T.), an eFG of .565, just eight turnovers in 90 possessions. Smooth, smooth offense.
Oh, also, a Casspi-to-Greene alley-oop in garbage time. That was nice.