Paul leads Clips in Sacramento to face Kings
(SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Paul will try for an encore performance when he leads the Los Angeles Clippers into Sacramento Friday night to take on the unbeaten Kings.
Paul had a big game in Thursday's 126-115 triumph over the Golden State Warriors, making 12-of-20 from the field en route to a game-best 42 points. Paul also handed out 15 assists and had six steals for the Clippers, who rebounded from a season-opening loss to the rival Lakers.
"A good win. I thought we played great. The intensity was there. I was really happy with our defense tonight, and Chris was awesome," Clippers new head coach Doc Rivers said.
Blake Griffin played a role in L.A.'s recent win and finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds. J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford had 17 points apiece, as the Clips shot 49.4 percent and scored 30-plus points in three of the four quarters of play. Crawford netted 10 points in the fourth stanza.
"We withstood their run," Crawford said of Golden State's late push. "I think it wasn't just one guy. Obviously, Chris had a lot of points tonight, but other guys stepped up especially in key moments. Like I've said (before), there's always that moment of truth where it can go either way and we hit some timely baskets as a team."
It also helped that the Clippers scored 28 points off 25 turnovers.
DeAndre Jordan pulled down 17 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive end.
Sacramento handed the Denver Nuggets a 90-88 loss in its season opener Wednesday and was aided by 30 points and 14 rebounds from DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins signed to a four-year, $62 million extension during the offseason.
"When we get stops, we're a tough team," Cousins said. "We broke down a lot tonight, made a lot of mistakes, made the game a lot harder than it should have been."
Greivis Vasquez, who was acquired in the offseason, ended with 17 points for the Kings, who got new head coach Mike Malone his first win. Isaiah Thomas was the last King to score in double figures and netted 16 points in a reserve role. Sacramento is 15-1 in home openers since 1998-99.
The Kings will have to slow down a Clippers team that got back on track and is expected to finish among the top three seeds in the West. Los Angeles took three of four matchups with Sacramento a season ago and has prevailed in nine of the past 11 encounters between the Pacific rivals.
11/01 10:45:19 ET