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  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    The Kings' Patrick Patterson, left, and Cole Aldrich crowd Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin in the post. Griffin scored 26 points, hitting 11 of 14 shots from the field.

  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Toney Douglas, left, and Marcus Thornton led the charge from long range for the Kings on Tuesday. Douglas hit three three-pointers and Thornton hit six.

Kings notes: Patterson returns to reserve role

Published: Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 4C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013 - 11:16 am

Most of the rotation questions for Keith Smart this season have been about how he substitutes his point guards.

Now the question becomes how he uses his top three post players.

Power forward Patrick Patterson's play since joining the Kings in a Feb. 20 trade from Houston has made it hard for Smart to keep Patterson on the bench.

Patterson started the two games prior to Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Sleep Train Arena and played well.

With DeMarcus Cousins back after missing two games with a left quad contusion, Patterson returned to a reserve role.

Smart did not anticipate any problems with Patterson. He averaged 18 points on 15-of-19 shooting in his two starts. That included making all four of his three-pointers.

Smart said Patterson has been great about his situation since arriving.

Patterson started 38 of the 47 games he played with the Rockets.

"I said, 'I know you've been starting on a team that was in a big playoff race,' " Smart said. "He said, 'Coach don't even go there. I'm willing to do whatever it takes on the basketball team. So however you want to use me, that's fine.' You need pros like this young man."

The streak grows – The Miami Heat's winning streak is at 23 games, the second-longest in NBA history.

Smart was asked to reflect on the Kings' double-overtime loss to the Heat on Feb. 26 in Miami.

That was win No. 12 of the streak, and one of the closer calls for Miami.

"Close, but we didn't get the ultimate prize," Smart said.

The Kings had a chance to win the game at the end of the first overtime, but a late shot by Isaiah Thomas was blocked by Chris Bosh.

"I thought we had it, yes," Smart said. "… But I thought our guys played the right way."

Smart said if the Heat is able to get close to breaking the NBA record of 33 consecutive wins by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, he won't reflect what could have been that night in Miami.

"No," Smart said. "That game is in the books until the next time we play the Miami Heat next year."

Still out – James Johnson missed his fourth consecutive game Tuesday. He is away from the team for personal reasons. Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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