SACRAMENTO KINGS

Clippers bully Kings as Sacramento falls to 0-3 in back-to-backs

Dec 12, 2023, 9:56 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - OCTOBER 25: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings in action during the sec...

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

So far this season, it seems like whenever the Sacramento Kings lose games, they lose big.

One night removed from a game that saw their offense knock down a franchise-record 25 three-pointers, the Kings’ offense fell flat on Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers set the tone early and never looked back en route to a 119-99 blowout win over Sacramento at crypto.com Arena.

Both teams were playing on the second night of a back-to-back, but it was the up-and-coming Kings that looked as if they were playing on tired legs instead of a Los Angeles team that possesses one of the oldest rosters in the NBA.

With the loss, Sacramento falls to 13-9 (0-3 on the second night of back-to-backs) this season in what was their final road game for two weeks as they return to Golden 1 Center for a six-game home stand that will tip off on Thursday.

Kings vs. Clippers Takeaways

If you were hoping that the red-hot offense from Monday night’s win over Brooklyn would join Sacramento on its flight to Los Angeles, you got a rude awakening in the first quarter–as did the rest of the Kings.

The Clippers held Sacramento to 24 points in the first, while De’Aaron Fox’s quick start (11 points on three-of-four shooting from deep) was the lone bright spot.

Outside of Fox’s four-of-six shooting from the field in the first quarter, the rest of the Kings’ offense went five-for-15 (33%), including one-of-seven from three-point range. This was a far cry from Sacramento’s record-breaking performance against the Nets just 24 hours earlier (51% FG and 55% 3PT).

Instead of the Kings continuing to knock down looks from the perimeter, it was the Clippers that caught fire from beyond the arc.

Los Angeles went eight-for-16 from three-point land and shot 59 percent from the field during the first half, while Sacramento could only stand by and watch as the Clippers got whatever they wanted on the offensive end.

The Kings struggled to find consistent offense during the first half, especially from deep, as they went four-for-18 (22%), with Fox knocking down three of those four makes.

Sacramento trailed by as many as 29 points during the first half as Los Angeles took a 22-point lead into the break.

The Kings never felt close in this one. It was impossible to feel as if the game was ever within reach while Los Angeles was scoring at will for the duration of the evening in front of a lethargic Sacramento defense.

As we have seen this season against fellow Western Conference playoff hopefuls like New Orleans and Houston, Sacramento really struggles to defend teams that roster a bevy of wings.

Of course, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, two future Hall of Fame forwards, are going to give the Kings trouble. But it wasn’t just ‘The Claw’ and PG-13.

James Harden, who scored a season-high 26 points in his last meeting with Sacramento, found his rhythm on offense, both as a scorer (15 points) and distributor (seven assists). Terance Mann, who entered the game shooting 20 percent from three this season, went two-for-three.

Norman Powell (15 points) and Russell Westbrook (eight points) led a Clippers bench unit that greatly impacted the win.

The Clippers got help from their bench, an already strong defensive team looked even more impressive against a typically efficient Kings offense, and Los Angeles strengthened its case as a Playoff contender in the West.

Sacramento will have to learn how to punch back against the teams they are competing with for a postseason spot. If not, general manager Monte McNair might start making some phone calls before February 8th’s trade deadline.

Notes

The Kings finished the night having shot 41 percent from the field and 27 percent from deep. Sacramento is 3-8 when shooting under 35 percent from three this season.

De’Aaron Fox continues to show off his improved three-point shooting. The All-Star guard knocked down three of his seven attempts from beyond the arc on Tuesday, extending his streak of games with at least one made three-point field goal to a career-long 20 games.

Keegan Murray continues to look like he is finding his offense, as the second-year forward finished with 17 points during the loss–his fourth-straight game with 13+ points.

Domantas Sabonis posted his 18th double-double of the season (3rd in the NBA): 15 PTS | 10 REB | 3 AST

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Sacramento will return home for a six-game home stand that will tip off on Thursday night against the up-and-coming Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Kings got the best of the Thunder during their lone meeting with OKC on November 10th, with Kevin Huerter (28 points) and Keegan Murray (24 points) leading Sacramento to a 105-98 win with De’Aaron Fox (ankle) sidelined.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Thunder coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from Golden 1 Center.

Upcoming Schedule

  • Thursday, December 14th – Sacramento Kings vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – 7:00 PM PST
  • Saturday, December 16th – Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz – 7:00 PM PST
  • Monday, December 18th – Sacramento Kings vs. Washington Wizards – 7:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, December 20th – Sacramento Kings vs. Boston Celtics – 7:00 PM PST
  • Friday, December 22nd – Sacramento Kings vs. Phoenix Suns – 7:00 PM PST

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