Clippers go for 12th straight win vs. Kings
The Sacramento Kings have seen first hand just how well the Los Angeles Clippers are playing right now.
The Clippers aim to duplicate their earlier rout of the Kings on Friday night and push their winning streak to a franchise-record 12 straight games.
Los Angeles hasn't tasted defeat since Nov. 26 versus the New Orleans Hornets, its fourth loss in a row at the time. Fittingly, the Clippers matched the longest win streak in club history on Wednesday with a 93-77 win over the Hornets.
Blake Griffin had 18 points and Jamal Crawford added 17 for the Clippers, who matched the 11-game run that the Buffalo Braves posted during the 1974-75 season. At 19-6, Los Angeles is also off to its best start in franchise history.
"It's pretty special. Especially doing it here at home since it hasn't happened since '74," said Clippers guard Chris Paul. "But we can't be satisfied. I think it's something that's great for the fans, great for our team. We can't be satisfied."
Paul perhaps enjoyed the victory even more as his 12 assists pushed him over 5,000 for his career. At 27 years and 228 days old, Paul became the third- youngest player in league history to reach the mark.
"It's easy on my part, I just pass the ball. My teammates make the shots," Paul said about reaching 5,000 assists. "It's pretty cool to do it in front of our crowd."
The Clippers should have no problem posting the longest win streak in team history if they can duplicate their Dec. 1 victory over the Kings, a 116-81 rout in which Los Angeles' starters didn't even play in the fourth quarter.
Seven Clippers reached double figures, paced by Crawford's 17 off the bench and 14 from both Griffin and Paul.
Griffin also had nine rebounds and is averaging 19.8 points and 11.6 boards in his eight career meetings with the Kings.
The Clippers also swept last season's three-game series with the Kings and have won seven of the past eight encounters overall. They have also won four straight and six of the past seven played in Los Angeles.
Sacramento hopes to have a little momentum ahead of this matchup after snapping a five-game losing streak with Wednesday's 131-127 win over the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors erased a 14-point deficit early in the fourth quarter with a 22-7 run and the game stayed close until John Salmons hit 1-of-2 from the free throw line with 2:13 to play and Aaron Brooks followed with a huge 3-pointer to pace the Kings.
Brooks, one of seven Sacramento players in double figures, had a season-high 23 points and DeMarcus Cousins had 24. Marcus Thornton returned from a four- game absence caused by personal reasons to net 19 points.
"Since I got here it's been a rivalry," Thornton said about playing the Warriors. "We get into it more because of the fans. Every time we play them it's always intense and we always try to come out ahead."
Tyreke Evans sat out his second straight game with a knee injury that has caused him to miss a total of seven games on the season. He is questionable for tonight, as is Francisco Garcia due to a sore lower back suffered after a fall versus the Warriors.