The Kings nearly rallied from 27 points down but couldn’t complete the comeback in a 127-118 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night at Staples Center. Here are three takeaways from the game:
Reserves provide huge spark late
The Kings were the first team in eight years to rally from at least 19 points down in two consecutive games. They couldn’t make it three.
Sacramento (18-16) trailed 118-91 with 8:14 left, then the reserves went to work.
A lineup of Frank Mason III, Yogi Ferrell, Ben McLemore, Skal Labissiere and Harry Giles III guided the Kings on a 27-3 run over seven minutes that brought Sacramento to within 121-118. McLemore scored 11 points during that span, hitting three 3-pointers while just missing a fourth that bounced and hung above the basket before finally rolling off the back.
The Clippers (20-14) closed with a 6-0 run to continue their successful streak against the Kings.
“All those guys were ready for their opportunities,” said starting guard De’Aaron Fox, who led the Kings with 19 points and nine assists. “Our starting group … we cheer for (the reserves). That’s just the type of group that we are.”
For the seventh consecutive meeting between these clubs, the Clippers were victorious. The Kings surrendered 71 first-half points to Los Angeles for the second time this season.
Montrezl Harrell was a problem again. The reserve forward scored 22 on 8-of-12 shooting, two points fewer than he had off the bench Nov. 29 in Sacramento.
Another reserve, Lou Williams, led the Clippers with 24 points.
The last time the Kings beat the Clippers was March 26, 2017, when Sacramento outscored L.A. 33-21 in the fourth quarter for a 98-97 victory at Staples Center.
The Kings and Clippers will meet two more times this season, Jan. 27 in L.A. and March 1 in Sacramento.
First-half woes too much to overcome
Much of the Kings’ woes in the opening 24 minutes could be attributed to their struggles from outside the arc.
They entered the game second in the league in 3-point shooting at 38.7 percent but made just 1 of 13 before the break.
Sacramento warmed up in the second half, making 9 of 17 to finish at 33.3 percent. Nemanja Bjelica made three of the Kings’ five 3s in the third quarter.
The Kings will look to take that fourth-quarter momentum home when they face Los Angeles’ other team, the Lakers, on Thursday.
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News