The Sacramento Kings head south on Saturday night to visit Staples Center and take on the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers got a welcome addition on Wednesday night when guard Chauncey Billups returned to the lineup. Billups, who tore his Achilles in the winter, started and had only seven points on 1-for-5 shooting in just under 20 minutes, but it was a boost for the Clips.
"I was just so excited to be back out there," Billups said. "It's been such a long road back. Honestly I've only played full court about three times since the injury. Knowing that, I've tried to be patient with myself and know that it's going to take a little while. Just to be out there was great."
The Clippers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 101-95 victory, at home, over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Billups' backcourt mate, Chris Paul, led the way with 23 points and 11 assists. Blake Griffin added 18 points and DeAndre Jordan, Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes also scored in double-digits.
It wasn't a pristine victory by any means. The Clippers shot 21 percent from the 3-point line and committed 25 fouls.
Sacramento has lost two in a row and eight of its last 10 games, including Friday's 97-92 loss to Indiana in the finale of a three-game homestand (1-2).
DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 19 points and 16 rebounds -- his fourth double-double of the season. Tyreke Evans did not play because of a bruised knee and Marcus Thornton did his best to make up for the loss, scoring 15 points. Thornton missed a 3-pointer in the waning seconds that would have tied the game.
"I just missed it," Thornton said of his final shot. "It felt good going up, I just missed the shot."
Jimmer Fredette and Francisco Garcia contributed 12 points apiece for Sacramento, which has the worst mark in the West at 4-11. Evans is listed as questionable for Saturday.
The Kings are 0-5 on the road this season and will play five of the next seven games away from California's capital. They are ranked second in the NBA in points in the paint, averaging 46.4 ppg.
Sacramento was swept in three games by the Clippers last season and has lost six of the last seven in this series. The Kings are losers of three straight and seven of nine at the Clippers.