Tonight the Sacramento Kings (3-5) took on the division rival Los Angeles Clippers (1-6) in Los Angeles.
The Kings came in following a loss last night to the Detroit Pistons at home, while the Clippers entered with one of the worst records in the league.
This marked the Kings first game against the Clippers since their franchise player, Elton Brand, left for Philadelphia via free agency.
Like last night, the Kings came out hot and led 27-20 after the first quarter. Beno Udrih led the Kings with 10 first quarter points. Udrih was able to consistently get to the rim for scores and also set up teammates.
The second quarter saw the Clippers make a run and get back within two. The Kings recovered behind the strong interior defense of Spencer Hawes and the all-around offensive game of Brad Miller. Hawes had three first half blocks along with four rebounds. Miller stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, six rebounds and six assists.
Going to halftime the Kings led 50-45.
The third quarter saw Udrih continue to punish the Clippers. The Clippers’ Baron Davis could not stay in front of him and Udrih repeatedly got to the rim and caused havoc. The Kings led 81-69 at the end of three.
The Kings came out in the fourth quarter and set the tone. They continued to attack at both ends of the court and wouldn’t let the Clippers breathe.
There were some anxious moments in the fourth quarter. The Kings switched to a zone defense which allowed the Clippers to get several clean looks at three pointers and close the gap to just two points with two minutes to go.
The Kings also got too conservative and started nursing the clock with five minutes still to go. As a result they had to come up with some big plays in the final minute. Unlike last night, the Kings held it together and made plays when they had to and got the win.
Udrih never let up and finished with a career high 30 points to go along with his seven assists, five rebounds and two steals as the Kings closed out and won their first road game of the year 103-98.
Brad Miller recovered from a horrible game last night. He finished just two assists shy of a triple double (16-11-8). Mikki Moore fouled out in the fourth quarter, finishing with eight points and just one rebound. Jason Thompson also added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings.
The Clippers were led by 20 points from forward Al Thornton. Baron Davis looked like he was going to take over at any time, but it never happened. He finished with 12 points on just 4-15 shooting while getting torched by Udrih all night.
The Kings move to 4-5 for the year while the Clippers fall to 1-7, last in the Western Conference. The Kings played their second straight game without team leader Kevin Martin.