Clippers and Kings renew hostilities

Pacific Division rivals clash in California's capital game road trip by visiting the Sacramento Kings.

The Clippers came back from the All-Star break with a bit of a hangover Tuesday, losing to Minnesota, 109-97, at Staples Center.

Blake Griffin had 30 points for LA, which has lost three of its last four and fallen one-half game behind the Lakers in the division. Chris Paul added 27 points and six assists and DeAndre Jordan contributed a double-double 14 points and 14 rebounds.

"Disappointing effort all around," said Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro. "They have a lot of scorers and a couple of them got hot tonight."

The Clips, who are 8-7 as the visitor, will also take on Phoenix, Houston, Minnesota, New Jersey and San Antonio on their trek.

The Kings, on the other hand, started the second half on a high note Tuesday, topping Utah 103-96. DeMarcus Cousins scored 22 points and ripped down 18 rebounds to pace the Kings in that one at Power Balance Pavilion.

All five starters finished in double figures for Sacramento, including 21 points from Marcus Thornton, 18 from Isaiah Thomas, and 13 from Tyreke Evans. Jason Thompson added 10 points for the Kings, who have won two straight on the heels of a six-game losing streak.

"It's always great to come back and win your first game," said Thornton after the game. "We're just going to try to carry this momentum on throughout the rest of the season."

The bigger news for the Kings came off the floor a day earlier when the team, the NBA and the City of Sacramento announced a tentative deal to keep the club in California's capital, squelching a potential move.

The Clippers have lost seven of eight and 23 of their last 26 games in Sac- Town.