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Udrih stellar as Kings outlast Clippers

Nov 13, 2008 - 7:25 AM By John Reger PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Beno Udrih scored a career-high 30 points to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 103-98 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

Udrih made 13-of-20 shots from the field and dished out seven assists while grabbing five rebounds, helping the Kings earn their first road win in five games. The 26-year-old native of Slovenia surpassed his previous career high of 27 points against the San Antonio Spurs on November 26, 2007.

"Beno hurt us with his dribble penetration and he was able to create shots," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We tried keeping him to his right hand but we let him get to his left. We just need to watch some film, correct our mistakes and get to work."

Udrih helped Sacramento overcome the absence of leading scorer Kevin Martin, who was averaging 22.9 points and missed his second consecutive contest after spraining his left ankle in the third quarter of the team's victory over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

"Definitely somebody has to step up, and that is what I was trying to do," Udrih said. "I have to be more aggressive and that's what I was trying to do."

Sacramento led, 95-84, with 4:48 left, but the Clippers went on a 13-4 run over the next three minutes, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers by Ricky Davis, who scored eight of his 16 points during the surge.

Rookie Jason Thompson hit 1-of-2 from the line to give the Kings a three-point edge. After a free throw by Al Thornton cut the deficit to 100-98, Udrih drained a jumper for the baseline to seal the victory.

"I don't want to think about how much I am scoring," Udrih said. "I just want to help my team win basketball games. This is a team sport. One guy can't win alone."

Thornton scored 20 points to lead Los Angeles, which made 10-of-20 shots from the arc.

Brad Miller and Thompson finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds apiece for the Kings, who scored the first four points of the game and never trailed.

"It's hard to keep a lead down the end of the game on the road," Miller said. "But we held on and tightened up at the end."

Sacramento stayed in front the entire first half, led by Udrih, who scored 10 of his 12 first-half points in the opening session.

"They were able to get anything they wanted," said Clippers guard Baron Davis, who had 12 points and 11 assists. "They got to the lane, they hit open shots and we were just unable to get a series of defensive stops. That ultimately cost us the game."

Los Angeles trailed by as many as 10 points in the second quarter but went on a 17-9 run near the end of the period, tying the score, 43-43, when Ricky Davis made a turnaround jumper with 2:22 remaining in the half.

The Clippers couldn't get any closer, though, and Sacramento rattled off a 7-2 run to carry a 50-45 lead into the locker rooms.

Sacramento started pulling away in the third quarter, building a 12-point lead when Thompson hit a short jumper with 1:28 left in the session.

"It is good to get reps in and the more opportunities that are out there, the more playing time coach is going to give me," Thompson said. "I think, if I can keep proving myself, I'll get more minutes."

"I can't say enough about the job Jason Thompson has done outside of his position," Kings coach Reggie Theus said. "He has done a great job. All you have to do is be around him, watch him practice, understand his attitude and know how to work with him."

The Clippers battled in the fourth but failed to earn their second straight win.

"I think we played hard tonight, we made a couple of runs," Clippers center Chris Kaman said. "We played hard but we just did not finish. Things did not go our way, but that is basketball, that's life."

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    Kings 102, Clippers 98  4th - 0:45Nov 13 12:54 AM

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    Kings 50, Clippers 45  HalfNov 12 11:56 PM

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    Kings vs. ClippersNov 12 10:25 PM