Richard Hartog / Associated Press

The Clippers' DeAndre Jordan (6) blocks a shot by the Kings' Aaron Brooks. The 35-point victory margin was the Clippers' largest against the Kings' franchise, four more than the previous best set in a 109-78 win April 10, 2009, at Staples Center. The Kings (0-6) and Washington (0-7) are the only winless teams on the road.

Kings get blown out by Clippers

Published: Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 - 12:18 pm

LOS ANGELES – John Salmons called for a players-only meeting after the Kings lost to the Atlanta Hawks by 16 on Nov. 16.

There was no players-only meeting after Saturday night's game at Staples Center. But Salmons was clearly bothered by the outcome.

"If you're going to write anything, this is strictly on the players," Salmons said after the Kings were dismantled 116-81 by the Los Angeles Clippers. "It's not the coach's fault."

The Clippers looked like a team with championship aspirations. The Kings looked like a team that had checked out before the game started.

With their third consecutive loss, the Kings fell to 4-12, worst in the Western Conference.

The Kings also dropped to 0-6 on the road. The only other winless team on the road is the Washington Wizards, who lost their first 12 games overall before winning Wednesday.

"I was very disappointed in how we performed," Kings coach Keith Smart said. "More importantly, how we performed in the first five minutes. Not the whole … game. The first five minutes of the basketball game, the tone was set in their favor."

The Kings trailed 13-6 five minutes into the game after DeAndre Jordan's alley-oop dunk on an assist from Blake Griffin. The Kings cut the deficit to 19-14 with 3:42 left in the quarter, but the Clippers hammered them the rest of the night.

"It wasn't the start we wanted," forward Jason Thompson said. "We were within five, and the next thing you know, it went to double digits, and we had no chance pretty much."

Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said it helped catching the Kings on the second night of a back-to-back. But it's not as if the Kings traveled to a different time zone after Friday's home loss to Indiana.

Smart had no explanation as to why the Kings came out so flat and got flattened.

"We do everything we can preparing the team to get ready to play, but they've got to get on the floor and play that way," Smart said. "Obviously, that wasn't the case (Saturday)."

Center DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings' leading scorer and rebounder, played only nine minutes in the first half. This time it wasn't because of foul trouble. He had only one foul.

"I didn't like what was happening on the floor and made a decision to go that direction," Smart said. "By the time I was ready to put him back in, the game was already out of control, and that was about it."

Cousins joined a collection of players on the bench that looked largely disheartened by what was happening on the court.

Cousins said he didn't receive an explanation for his extended break.

"No," Cousins said. "I just sat."

As to why the Kings were blown out, Cousins said: "The energy wasn't there. They came out to play and we didn't, and it showed."

Guard Tyreke Evans missed his second consecutive game with a bruised left knee. Marcus Thornton replaced him in the starting lineup and led the Kings with 20 points. Thornton made six three-pointers to match his career high. Thompson had 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Jamal Crawford led the Clippers (10-6) with 17 points off the bench. Seven Clippers, including four starters, scored in double figures.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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