• A third quarter collapse was all it took for the Kings to waste a brilliant first half against the Clippers as they fell 97-95.

    The Kings, led by the bench once again, led 61-47 at the half and even extended their lead to 18 in the third quarter. Frank Mason began the second quarter with a nice assist to Willie Cauley-Stein and an and-one of his own, but finished the game with just five points in 10 minutes. Later in the game, he had a pair of inexcusable turnovers and a forced drive which almost resulted in another.

    The Clippers who had lost nine straight before beating the Hawks on Wednesday, came out after halftime and showed a ton of resolve to fight back into the game and took a 76-71 lead into the fourth quarter.

    Skal Labissiere scored seven of his nine points in the first quarter, but neither Labissiere or any Kings big for that matter was able to contain Blake Griffin who dropped 33 points on the night, including the game-winning bucket with three seconds remaining in the game.

    The Kings bench outscored the Clippers 51-19, but it still wasn’t enough. A 10-point third quarter was what ultimately did the team in.

    After leading 65-to-47 with 11:23 left, Los Angeles went on a 17-0 run and then tied the game with four minutes left in the quarter. The Kings finished with 17 turnovers on the night and eight of them came during that period.

    From there, the Clippers maintained control of the game, keeping the Kings at arm’s length. But, with just a handful of minutes to play in the final quarter, the Clippers led 95-85 and the game seemed all but over. However, Buddy Hield turned on a gear he might not have even known he had and scored eight of the team’s next 10 points as the Kings tied up the game at 95.

    Hield got a chance to answer Griffin’s last-second bucket, but heaved up a running left-handed attempt that had no chance of going in as the Kings dropped the game.

    NOTES FROM THE GAME:

    • Buddy Hield finished with 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting (7-of-9 from beyond the arc).
    • The Kings (11-of-21) out-shot the Clippers (9-of-28) from the 3-point line, which marked the second time this season that they made more threes than their opponent. The last time the Kings won the 3-point battle was on Nov. 13 against the Wizards. The Kings however, led the 3-point battle 7-to-1 at the half. The Clippers made 8-of-14 attempts in the second half on their way to the comeback win.
    • Zach Randolph had another solid showing as he dropped 17 points, seven rebounds and three dimes for Sacramento.
    • The game had just a total of 22 free throw attempts (LAC 13, SAC 9).
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