CP3, Clippers make a stop in Sacramento
Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers hit the road Tuesday in a matchup with the Pacific Division-rival Sacramento Kings.
Paul has scored 20-plus points in each of the last three games, averaging 21.3 ppg in that time, and has surpassed the 20-point mark four times in his previous six games played. CP3 had 20 points and eight assists in Sunday's 93-80 home win over the depleted New York Knicks.
Caron Butler scored 14 points and Blake Griffin also chipped in 12 and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who have alternated wins and losses in their previous seven games.
"Coach (Vinny Del Negro) got on us at halftime. We needed to get out and run so we pushed the tempo and picked up the intensity in the second half," said Clippers reserve guard Jamal Crawford, who had 12 points.
In injury news for L.A., guard Eric Bledsoe (calf) is listed as doubtful Tuesday. Forward Ronny Turiaf (knee) is questionable.
The Pacific-leading Clippers, who own a 20-13 road record, are currently third in the Western Conference and are averaging 100.8 ppg this season.
Sacramento is the worst defensive unit in the NBA, allowing 104.9 ppg, and is back home for two straight games. The Kings had won two of three games until suffering a 113-102 loss to the Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers Sunday.
Bryant did not play because of ankle and flu issues, and the Kings failed to take advantage. Isaiah Thomas netted 26 points to go with six assists and Patrick Patterson tallied 22 points and five rebounds for Sacramento, which played without top big man DeMarcus Cousins (thigh).
Cousins is questionable versus the Clippers and leads the team in points (17.0 ppg) and rebounds (10.0 rpg). He has 28 double-doubles this season.
The Kings are first in the NBA in points per game since the All-Star break (110.2 ppg) and have scored 100 or more points in 15 of the past 17 contests, including the past four. Thomas has scored 20-plus points in three of the previous four games.
Sacramento is 17-15 in California's capital city and faces a Clippers team that is holding the opposition to 94.2 ppg.
The Kings have lost the first two meetings with Los Angeles this season and both games were played at Staples Center. The two Pacific foes will meet again April 17 at Sleep Train Arena. The Clippers have won five straight, eight of nine and 10 of the last 14 matchups between the teams.
The Clippers, though, have lost 23 of their last 28 at Sacramento.