With a hustle and a few highlight plays, a cast of hungry students brought energy to Wednesday night, helping the Clippers break a three-game losing streak with a 105-89 victory at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento to help the Clippers Of.
The Clippers will go ahead with a win at Christmas, driven by a season-high 29 fast-break points, 43-40. Benefit On board and a big game from Eric Bledsoe, who was started in place of Reggie Jackson (who was put into COVID-19 health and safety protocols earlier in the day).
Bledsoe finished with 19 points on the team-high all, shooting 8-for-15, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Pride veteran center Serge Ibaka — who had joined the rotation only a game earlier when Isaiah Hartenstein sprained an ankle — added a season-high 17 points on shooting 7-for-9.
Off the bench, rookie Brandon Boston Jr. (eight points, four rebounds, two assists), Keon Johnson (four points, three rebounds and a flurry of defensive activity) and two-way wing Amir Coffey (eight points, six rebounds) helped Causing exactly the type of havoc the Clippers needed.
“They brought in a lot of energy,” said Bledsoe, who also completed a season-high plus-20 in the box score. “I think we needed that. The last few games weren’t high on energy and sometimes all you need from a team is to come out and work hard.
“There are going to be mistakes, but at the same time, we want to create a lot of havoc, because they wanted to go out and show what they could do. So I thought they did a great job coming in and giving the void we needed, To fill that in, especially with people going down, they did a great job.”
It was the Clippers’ first win in three tries against the Kings this season. LA lost to Sacramento for the first time in 15 visits at the teams’ last meeting on December 4.
Some of the Kings’ key heroes were unavailable to take the stage on Wednesday when they had seven players in COVID-19 recovery and safety protocols and head coach Alvin Gentry (they included: star point guard Day’ Aaron Fox, rookie defensive Keats Davian Mitchell and Terrence Davis, whose best game this season came against the Clippers, dropping 28 and 23 points.)
Protocol has its own growing contingent of the Clippers, with Jackson joining Marcus Morris Sr. as the Clippers missing time due to a COVID-19 diagnosis.
And then there were more run-of-the-mill injuries to account for: sizzling sharpshooter Luke Kennard missed his first game of the season, aside from hip soreness, and reserve center Isaiah Hartenstein with a sprained ankle on his back foot. Missed the second game. Star forward Kawhi Leonard (ACL) and rookie guard Jason Preston (Ft) will be out indefinitely.
Without all of that, Tyrone Lew marked the one-year anniversary of his head coaching debut with the Clippers this season with their 11th starting lineup and eighth in the last 11 games.
The Kings erased the Clippers’ very short 19-point lead with a run of 11-0, which reduced it to 67-59 in the third quarter with 4:03. By the end of the quarter, the Clippers’ lead was only 74-68.
But in the fourth quarter, a bounce that included a graceful reverse layup from Johnson, a mini dream shake from Ibaka and a side-stepping charge to the hoop from Coffey, took the lead at 84-73 with 9:14 in double digits. pushed back. , after which the Clippers never led by less than nine points.
“I know we needed this win so badly,” said Ibaka, who believes his four-game ramp-up with Boston, Coffey and Johnson in the G League paid off on Wednesday, when the Clippers’ second Unit dismissed Sacramento’s 48-18.
“I say, ‘I’m gonna be there, just try to go there, try harder and see what happens.'”
What happened is that Ibaka reminded 15,386 fans of her various on-court abilities in attendance.
“Serge was great,” said Lew. “Making two 3s, I thought on the offensive glass, finished on the rim, and, defensively, challenged Tristan’s (Thompson) floaters to the basket,[he]really gave Tristan a hard time there. And which he deflected And blocked, Tristan made her.
“Surge’s presence was big and spacious off the bench and certainly anchored the defense on that other unit.”
And in addition to extending the season’s best transition attack, outscoring the Kings by 23 points on the fastbreak – just the 10th time the Clippers have had an advantage in this regard this season, they’ve also won a rebounding fight, which has been a rarity lately.
The Clippers suffered a 67-43 loss at the hands of San Antonio on Monday, when the Spurs also collected 23 offensive rebounds and took 114 shots. No team had recorded so many rebounds against the Clippers in a regulation game since 1989, and no one had scored as many shots against them in a non-overtime case since 1991.
Hence, short-handed, rebounding was also the thrust point for the Clippers against the Kings.
With this in mind, Lew said he floored assistant coach Brian Shaw to “redo his short box-out drill” to try to get the Clippers to focus on rebounding execution.
Getting back on track against the Kings seemed like a reasonable prospect; Twice this season, the Kings allowed a league-high 68 rebounds (for Memphis and Utah), and entering Wednesday, their opponents averaged 46.7 rebounds per game, the sixth-highest in the NBA.
The Clippers’ opponents average was even higher, however: 47.2, the fourth-highest in the league. This has been a serious problem for Lew’s team, losing a league-worst 50.3 rebounds per game.
And it got a lot better on Wednesday, when the Clippers played with renewed focus, energy and perspective, Lew said.
“With the Reggie incident, I think our mind shifted to another state,” Lew said. “And with Luke out, we didn’t have time to really focus on the San Antonio game, so when we landed last night and worried about Reggie, our whole game plan had to change. He could not do what he wanted to do to show the film in the morning.
“Like I said, you’re going to have four or five games a year, you don’t want to see them but it’s going to happen. And when you’re playing short-hand, people get tired and people Five out of seven (games) or four in six, or whatever, are not the same players. … But I will never question the heart and effort of my people on the season. I think one or two The matches don’t look as good as we usually do but the guys are playing, they try every night. Sometimes we have to be a little more physical and that can come with some fatigue as well.”
In his second game after missing five with a sprained right elbow, All-Star Wing Paul George added 17 points, six assists and five steals to the win – including 7 from 3-point range in the process of advancing from Chancey. Scoring 3 runs for runs is involved. The Billups finished 18th on the NBA’s all-time 3-point field goals list for his 1,831st career.
Tyrese Halliburton scored a fourth consecutive double-double with 22 points and a career-high 13 assists for Sacramento. Former USC standout Chimezi Meitu added 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Clippers have a three-day break — their longest so far this season — before hosting Denver and Brooklyn in consecutive games on Sunday and Monday in what would later be known as the Crypto.com Arena.