LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers overcame a fourth-quarter rally by Sacramento and tied their record for most victories in a season with a 117-101 victory Saturday afternoon at Staples Center.
The Clippers (56-24) matched their win total of last season and got their team-record 33rd win at home.
Forward Blake Griffin had 27 points and nine assists, center DeAndre Jordan tallied 21 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks, and point guard Chris Paul had 17 points and 10 assists for Los Angeles.
Center DeMarcus Cousins had 32 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for the Kings (27-53).
Jordan was a pivotal figure in the first half at both ends of the floor. The 6-foot-11 center had a career-high nine blocked shots in a 104-98 overtime win over the Kings at Sacramento on Nov. 29 and he displayed that same intimidation Saturday. The Texas A&M product blocked four shots and influenced several others in helping to limit the Kings to 39 percent shooting (16 of 41).
Offensively, after missing his first dunk attempt of the day, he had three dunks and a lay-in the help Los Angeles build a 48-40 lead with 3:21 to go until halftime.
Then he became the victim in another installment of Hack-a-Jordan, although he wasn’t really hacked. The fouls the Kings administered were mere touches designed to send the notoriously poor foul shooter to the free throw line.
The strategy worked briefly as Jordan missed seven in a row, but Sacramento had gotten only a free throw from Reggie Evans and three points from Cousins and the Clippers still led 49-44 with 1:17 left before intermission.
Then, with the crowd cheering him on, Jordan made two in a row. Paul then drilled a 3-pointer and Griffin hit two free throws to make it 56-47 at halftime.
In the first half, Jordan had 12 points, Paul 11 and Griffin nine for the Clippers, while Cousins had 15 points and Rudy Gay and Reggie Evans scored 10 apiece for the Kings. Gay finished with 16 points, and Evans scored 14 to go with 14 rebounds.
Jordan and Griffin got the first two baskets of the third quarter to put Los Angeles up 60-47, and Griffin’s lay-in made it 85-71 with 1:11 to play in the third.
Cousins led the Kings back within two, 91-89, only to have Jordan block the bid for a tying basket and Los Angeles go on a 12-2 run to lead 103-91 after guard Jamal Crawford’s 3-point basket with 5:22 to play.
NOTES: Clippers C DeAndre Jordan has the league’s longest streak of consecutive games played in the regular season, at 238 and counting, and coach Doc Rivers said it’s in large part because of his mentality. “He does have bangs and bruises and sprains, but he just keeps playing,” Rivers said. “That’s just DJ. He had a root canal one morning before practice and then practiced the whole practice. It was great. He didn’t talk a lot, which was even better.” … Sacramento G Isaiah Thomas (right quad contusion) missed his 10th straight game Saturday and won’t see action Sunday against Minnesota, but coach Michael Malone said he might play in the Kings’ home finale Wednesday. “If he’s not going to go out there and do any further damage to his injury and he’s working so hard to get back and he wants to play, I have no problem with allowing him to do so,” Malone said. … The Kings have signed G Jared Cunningham for the remainder of the season. He joined the team on a 10-day contract on March 31. … The game featured the two most-fouled players in the NBA this season in the Clippers’ Blake Griffin and Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins. They began the day having been fouled 568 and 518 times, respectively.
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