Kings coach Dave Joerger after the Kings’ 122-95 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers. Jason Jones The Sacramento Bee
Kings coach Dave Joerger after the Kings’ 122-95 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers. Jason Jones The Sacramento Bee

Kings Blog

Jason Jones, Sacramento Kings beat writer

Kings Blog

Kings allow several season highs, making things too easy for Clippers in blowout loss

By Jason Jones

jejones@sacbee.com

December 26, 2017 10:14 PM

LOS ANGELES

It didn’t take long Tuesday’s game to be memorable for Los Angeles Clippers rookie forward Jamil Wilson.

His 14 points in the first quarter were one more than his career high – for a game. Wilson finished with 17 points as the Clippers coasted to a 122-95 victory over the Kings at Staples Center.

After being tied 30-30 after the first quarter, the Clippers took control by outscoring the Kings 41-23 in the second.

The Kings have lost their last two games after winning back-to-back contests.

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Willie Cauley-Stein led the Kings (11-22) with 17 points and seven rebounds.

Rookie guard Milos Teodosic had a career-high 10 assists and eight points for the Clippers (14-19), who received a lot of help from their bench. Montrezl Harrell had a game-high 22 points and Lou Williams scored 21.

The Kings’ bench was outscored 72-43 by the Clippers’ reserves, the most points by an opposing bench this season. The previous high was 55 on Dec. 1 in Chicago.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

It was too easy

NBA coaches like to say a team “didn’t feel” them when their defense was unable to disrupt their opponent. It was that kind of night for the Kings. It showed with Wilson’s first-quarter scoring.

The Clippers piled up 41 points in the second quarter and 71 points in the first half, the most the Kings have given up in a quarter and a half this season.

This wasn’t an elite NBA team picking apart the Kings, it was a Clippers team playing without All-Star forward Blake Griffin and Danilo Gallinari. The Kings have to be more physical and make it tougher on opponents, especially on nights where their offense is in a rut.

The second unit is younger, so expect some inconsistency

The injury to De’Aaron Fox that put Buddy Hield back in the starting lineup along with Willie Cauley-Stein starting takes away two players who had been counted on to provide a lot of offense with the second unit.

That meant three of the Kings’ primary reserves Tuesday were rookies (Bogdan Bogdanovic, Justin Jackson and Frank Mason III). Another was Malachi Richardson, a second-year guard who didn’t play much as a rookie.

That’s going to lead to some moments where the reserves are outplayed, like they were in the second quarter.

Run, big man, run

The game was tied at 30 after the first quarter, thanks in part to Cauley-Stein running the floor for easy baskets and scoring eight points in the quarter.

The Kings need more of that because their offense is not one that is going to be scoring a lot on most nights.

High-energy play is something that should be a given every night.

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.