Sacramento’s offense nosedived after halftime and so did the Kings’ chances of winning.
The Los Angeles Clippers, led by Blake Griffin (33 points) and Lou Williams (18 points) overcame an 18-point third quarter deficit to knock off the Kings 97-95 Saturday night at Golden 1 Center.
The Kings shot 24 of 41 in the first half (58.5 percent) only to wilt in the third, shooting 4 of 19. The Kings managed just 10 points in the third and 34 in the second half.
Buddy Hield tied it 95-95 on a 3-pointer with 14.8 seconds to play. Griffin answered to give the Clippers the lead with 3.2 seconds to go and Hield’s attempt to tie it at the buzzer was off.
Hield led the Kings with 27 points, his season high. He made a career-high seven 3-pointers. Zach Randolph had 17 points.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
It’s still too easy (for the opponent)
The Clippers (7-11) erased an 18-point deficit because the Kings still give up too many easy looks, whether it’s straight drives to the basket or on 3-pointers.
The Kings (5-14) struggle to score most nights, so simply trying to to outscore teams will backfire more times than not.
Once the Kings went cold on offense, they didn’t stand a chance of keeping up with the Clippers.
Who wants to get grimy?
The Clippers came out in the second half and took the fight to the Kings. Their role players were scrappy and made hustle plays. The Kings did not match their intensity.
Clippers backup Montrezl Harrell stood out, just by outworking the Kings.
When the offense goes bad, Kings still looking for bailout guy
Part of the Kings’ struggle is finding a player to go to for offense when they need to help stop an opponent’s run. Can they count on Randolph to be that guy, or will a young player step up to score or create for a teammate?
That role might not be figured out for some time. Hield has potential, scoring 16 in the fourth after a scoreless third. But when the Clippers made their run in the third, the Kings looked disorganized on offense.