The LA Clippers moved to 2-0 following a loss this season, jumping out to a 26-point lead in the 1st half before holding on late to beat the Sacramento Kings 121-115 at the Golden 1 Center. Just as the Clippers bounced back from a Wednesday night home loss to the Thunder earlier this month by winning at Memphis on the front end of a back-to-back, the Clippers followed up a Wednesday night home loss to the Grizzlies by winning at Sacramento.
And just like that win in Memphis two weeks ago, the Clippers had to hold on late against the Kings as they saw that 26-point 1st-half lead shrink to 117-115 with 2:04 left to play in the 4th quarter. Just as the Clippers comeback came up short Wednesday night against the Grizzlies, the Kings comeback fizzled out as the Clippers outscored the Kings 4-0 in the last 2:04 of the game.
Here are five takeaways from Friday night:
– Clippers C DeAndre Jordan tied a season-high with 8 made field goals on 10 attempts on his way to another double-double (16 points, 12 rebounds). Sacramento’s starting C, Kosta Koufos, lasted only 8:49 and was benched in the 2nd half by Sacramento head coach Dave Joerger. The Clippers made 6-of-7 FGs (85.7 percent) in the 4 minutes that the Kings starting lineup was on the floor. But Jordan made all 4 of his 2nd half field goal attempts in what was a balanced scoring effort.
The Clippers are in Sacramento tonight against the Kings, a match up between 2 @usabasketball bigs. Which would your team rather have:
— ClipperBlog (@clipperblog) November 18, 2016
– Sacramento PF DeMarcus Cousins scored a season-high 38 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. It took Cousins getting a season-high 29 shots from the field and he shot only 41.4 percent from the field, but that’s a small consolation for a Clippers defense that gave up a season-high 115 points and is now 2nd in the NBA in defensive efficiency behind the Atlanta Hawks.
– Remember that slow start from Clippers SG J.J. Redick? Well, he’s the biggest reason why the Clippers offense has turned it around over the last two weeks. The Clippers were ranked 23rd in offensive efficiency after the November 4 win at Memphis, scoring 98.2 points per 100 possessions while Redick shot only 39.2 percent from the field and 30.0 percent from three. Over the last two weeks (since November 5), only the Warriors have a better offensive efficiency rating than the Clippers, as they have scored 117.8 points per 100 possessions while Redick has made a ridiculous 55.6 percent from the field and 58.7 percent from three over the last 8 games. Redick followed up a 29-point, 7-of-12 three-point shooting performance Wednesday night against the Grizzlies by scoring 26 points and making 6-of-8 threes against the Kings. It’s the first time in Redick’s career that he has made at least 6 threes in back-to-back games.
Tonight: Clippers host Grizzlies, who got 20 points Mon. night from 1998 No. 5 pick Vince Carter. When does '98 10th pick Paul Pierce debut?
— ClipperBlog (@clipperblog) November 16, 2016
– To the 8 percent of you who had Paul Pierce debuting this month after the Grizzlies game, congratulations! With Wesley Johnson missing his fourth straight game with a heel injury and the Brandon Bass all-bench lineups proving to be awful in three games, we saw Pierce inserted into a game for the first time this season. The all-bench lineup of Raymond Felton, Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford, Pierce, and Marreese Speights was great in the 1st half, outscoring the Kings 18-13 and compiling a net rating of 48.8 in 6 minutes. Pierce made 2 threes in the 1st half, but that unit was destroyed to start the 4th quarter, getting outscored 10-2 and compiling a brutal net rating of -142.3 in only 2 minutes.
– This was another slow game for Clippers PG Chris Paul, who followed up a 3-of-11 shooting night Wednesday with a 2-of-10 shooting night in Sacramento. On the flipside, Kings PGs Ty Lawson and Darren Collison combined to score 34 points, with each making 7-of-11 FGs (63.6 percent). Meanwhile, PF Blake Griffin managed to score a season-high 29 points, but he didn’t make any of his 3 attempts from the field in the 4th quarter. Griffin has been great this year, but he’s only made 2-of-14 FGs (14.3 percent) this season.