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Kings vs. Clippers Preview: Can Sacramento rise to the occasion?

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Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

This season's hot start began with a surprising win in Los Angeles against the Clippers.  Now the Kings are struggling and could use a big win as the Clippers visit.  Today's action tips off at 7:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and on KHTK 1140.

3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR

1. For a team that is 26-14, the L.A. Clippers have disappointed this season.  While teams like the Warriors and Blazers are improving upon seasons past, the Clippers seem to be regressing.  Just yesterday they lost a close game to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in what turned out to be a shootout.  Last year they were the 1st ranked offense and 9th ranked defense.  This year they are 3rd and 16th respectively.

2.  The last time these two teams played, Jamal Crawford wasn't available and the Clippers also couldn't buy a three point basket, going just 9 for 31.  Crawford has routinely killed the Kings in the past, and the Clippers are one of the best three point shooting teams in the league: 2nd in makes, 5th in attempts and 4th in percentage.  Those could be big factors.

3. Both teams are on the second night of a back to back and both teams played their starters heavy minutes last night.  The Kings were without Rudy Gay and Carl Landry, both of whom are listed as day-to-day with their availability in doubt for tonight.  The Clippers feature a healthy roster from top to bottom.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Chris Paul vs. Darren Collison

The master meets the apprentice here.  Collison started his career as Paul's backup in New Orleans and last year served as his backup in Los Angeles.  These two know each other's games very well.  Paul's equally dangerous as a passer and scorer, so it will take a team effort to cut off some of his options.

PREGAME LIMERICK

Doc traded the farm for his son,
in hopes that he'd be the one.
Early returns are in,
to Clippers fans' chagrin,
that Austin Rivers isn't much fun.

PREDICTION

Kings 104, Clippers 93 after someone finally tells Derrick Williams that he was drafted 2nd overall, not 2nd in the 2nd round.