The Los Angeles Clippers have dominated the Sacramento Kings in all four matchups this season. Even with no star, they are still playing great basketball so kudos to them. The Kings had a crack at stealing the game in the final seconds, but a charge call on Harrison Barnes sealed the crack shut and the Kings are now even at .500, despite being a few games over not so long ago.
If you’re worried about the playoffs, here’s Tim giving you a different perspective on things.
There’s literally 25% of the season left. Some of y’all need to take a step back from tonight’s loss & survey the playoff race.— SactownBabyGiraffe (@TimMaxwell22) March 2, 2019
It’s not close to over.
The Kings own the tie-breaker over the Spurs, are only 2 losses back, & will enjoy the 3rd easiest schedule moving forward.
The loss hurts but the Kings can’t dwell on it. The schedule lightens up and even without Marvin Bagley, the Kings need to show they deserve a spot in the playoffs like the Clippers have been.
The first quarter started off the exact opposite of where it needed to go. De’Aaron Fox didn’t even play two full minutes and had to be taken out because he picked up two fouls. The Clippers were knocking down their shots and continued to cause trouble for the Kings with good defense. Buddy Hield got going early which was pleasant to see, scoring eight points on 3-7 shooting. He nailed two three pointers and got a putback layup. The Kings ended the quarter on a 8-2 run with Harry Giles, Corey Brewer and Alec Burks all chipped in with good plays on both ends of the floor to make the deficit 26-23 at the end of one.
The Kings opened the second quarter by going on a run and took the lead. They ended the quarter outscoring the Clippers 33-26 with some big plays from the bench. Giles, who is coming off a great game against Milwaukee, jumped out to 10 points in eight minutes. Brewer added four points and three assists and Burks had four points and three rebounds. Nemanja Bjelica gave the Kings five points, three rebounds and a block in 10 minutes. Hield led the team overall with 13 points on 4-11 shooting, Fox added six points and seven assists and Willie Cauley-Stein had a strong second quarter, ending with six points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Kings led 56-52.
Sacramento came out flat-footed in the third quarter and got outscored by LA 35-26. Hield took his point total up to 23 despite shooting 6-17 overall while Bogdan Bogdanovic was an awful 1-9. Cauley-Stein notched a 10 point, 10 rebound double-double in 22 minutes. Giles continued to be a spark off the bench with 15 points. The Clippers got a big boost as rookie Landry Shamet started hitting his three pointers and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was 3-3 from three. Clippers led 87-82.
To summarize quickly, the Kings trailed by 13 but became the Cardiac Kings. They went on a big run to make the game 104-101 and when the game was 112-109, Harrison Barnes was called for a charge on a made layup. That was the last breath for the Kings and they lost 116-109. Kings are now 31-31.
Buddy Hield led all scorers with 23 points tonight despite shooting an awful 6-19 overall. He was 3-4 from three, but missed his next four attempts to fall to 3-8 from distance. He added seven rebounds, three assists and a steal.
De’Aaron Fox only played 29 minutes tonight but finished with 12 points, 12 assists, five rebounds and a steal. He was 5-9 from the field and I thought he should’ve taken the ball to the rim more often once Gilgeous-Alexander got to four fouls.
Harry Giles had another great game off the bench with 15 points on 7-13 shooting, five rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Willie Money Watch
Willie had a great game today in 31 minutes of action. He finished with 16 points on 7-11 shooting, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked four shots. If Willie could give this type of efficiency every game, no doubt he gets paid. The thing we’ve learned so far is that he’ll fade off eventually and that hurts the team.
The Kings were out-rebounded 58-46. The Clippers had 16 offensive rebounds and that is inexcusable. They won the assist battle 27-19.
The Kings shot better overall tonight at 44.1% to the Clippers 43.5% (close margin) but were awful from three at 6-21 (28%). However, they were 21-25 from the free throw line (84%), one of their best marks of the season. This team confuses me in so many ways.
Sacramento dominated the paint 62-44 and only had eight turnovers.
After having a career high 28 points against the Bucks, Bogdanovic was 3-15 from the floor for nine points.
The Kings host the New York Knicks on Monday at 7:00 P.M. PST. The Knicks will be coming off a game against the Clippers the day before, which should help the Kings out if they continue to come with a fast pace.