for this game

Kings crush Clippers

Feb 28, 2009 - 6:36 AM SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- For a team unfamiliar with letdowns, the Los Angeles Clippers clinically defined the term on Friday.

Coming in with a two-game winning streak and having stunned the defending champion Boston Celtics in their most recent outing, the Clippers were trounced and bounced all around Arco Arena in a 98-86 loss to the Sacramento Kings.

The Kings seemingly can't beat anyone ... but the Clippers. They are 13-47 this season but own a 3-0 mark against the Clippers.

Kevin Martin led the Kings with 20 points, Bobby Jackson added 19 and Andres Nocioni came off the bench for 17.

Sacramento closed the first quarter with a 10-0 run to take a 27-18 lead, and that was that.

"We got off to a good start with these guys," Kings interim coach Kenny Natt said. "We did a better job defensively, we were able to get ourselves going on the offensive end of the floor and keep our confidence up. I just told the guys again, it's because of the fact that we decided to start the game the right way on both ends of the floor."

A layup by Rashad McCants built the gap to 44-25 in the second quarter as the Kings took advantage of a Clipper team that was without rookie guard Eric Gordon (bruised left shoulder). Al Thornton played but was bothered by a sore foot.

"It felt real good," said McCants, who had 12 points and six rebounds. "Despite not playing much in three months, I feel good and in shape. The legs feel great. Just got to get in the flow again. It's like training camp all over again with a new team.

"Flow and chemistry is important right now more than anything. I've always had a great basketball mind, knowing where to be defensively and knowing all the plays. My adjustment is just coming in and be able to fit with the team."

Still, Sacramento made the Clippers' ride from the penthouse to the cellar swift and efficient, upping its edge to 72-50 at one point in the third quarter.

The Clippers did make a bit of a run in the final quarter, closing with 83-71. Martin drilled a 3-point shot to ignite a 12-2 run to blow the advantage up to 22.

"I was kind of worried in the fourth quarter when they made a little run," Sacramento guard Bobby Jackson said. "I kind of wanted to sit out and rest up for (Saturday) but I'll be all right."

Baron Davis led the Clippers with 13 points. Zach Randolph had a silent double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds.

"I thought the first quarter (Sacramento) was kind of playing into our hands and then they hit that run, and it was like we were playing catch-up ever since," Davis said.

Los Angeles had a cold night from the field, hitting only 34-of-89 (38 percent) shots.

"This is one of those games where we miss Eric Gordon," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "He is a very athletic guy that can attack off the dribble, create easy buckets for us and play good defense.

"Then, Thornton came back for the first time in a while and he was not there tonight. We just didn't play well. We missed shots. Defensively, the team defense wasn't there."

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    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Clippers 86, Kings 98  FinalFeb 28 1:37 AM

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