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Clippers clobber Kings in Karl’s second game

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Updated 10 months ago on
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LOS ANGELES — What a difference a night made for George Karl and the Sacramento Kings.

Guard J.J. Redick scored 18 of his 24 points in the first half and the Los Angeles Clippers pounded the Kings 126-99 on Saturday at the Staples Center.

Guard Austin Rivers had his best game as a Clipper, leading all scorers with a career-high 28 points. Guard Jamal Crawford added 23 points as the Clippers (37-19) won their fourth in a row.

Center DeMarcus Cousins finished with 21 points and forward Rudy Gay had 15 to lead the Kings (19-35), who have lost six of their last seven.

“They came out on their run and we didn’t really know how to bounce back from it,” said Cousins, who was 6 of 19 from the floor and picked up a technical foul in the third quarter. “I think some fatigue kicked in as well. We let them gain confidence and they just ran away with the game. Also, we stopped passing the ball. Things we did the previous night we didn’t do tonight.”

The Kings were coming off a 109-101 win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night in Karl’s debut as Sacramento coach. He hadn’t been on the sideline since he was fired by the Denver Nuggets after the 2012-13 season.

Although the Kings started well against the Clippers, they couldn’t maintain it as a second-quarter sprint by Los Angeles put them in a hole they never escaped.

“My feeling in the second quarter was that when we took Cousins out of the game, we didn’t have enough offense,” Karl said. “Bad offense creates bad defense. They got going in the open court, they scored off our turnovers and made the 3-ball.”

After trailing by as many as 10 in the first quarter, the Clippers opened the second quarter with a basket by Crawford to start an 11-0 run for a 35-29 lead.

Sacramento closed the gap to two, but Los Angeles put together a 31-14 run to end the quarter with a 66-47 advantage at the half. The Clippers outscored Sacramento 42-18 in the second quarter.

By the end of the third quarter, the lead ballooned to 97-65.

“In the first quarter, we did not play very well,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “We did not move the ball well, and they were scoring on us. Fortunately, the second unit came in and changed the game for us. Once that happened, the starters came back in and finished what the second unit did. That was good for us.”

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan scored all 11 of his points and had 15 rebounds, seven on the offensive end, in the first half.

However, Jordan picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter and did not return. His string of 40 consecutive games, the longest streak in the NBA, of hitting at least 50 percent of his shots from the field ended when he took his 5-of-11 shooting night to the bench.

The Clippers connected on 48.4 percent from the field compared with 34.1 percent for the Kings. They made 14 of 35 from 3-point range and the Kings were 4 of 16.

Rivers was 5 of 9 on 3-pointers and Redick finished 4 of 6.

“I thought our defense was really good tonight,” Austin Rivers said. “It was able to get me going and get us in transition. We did a good job of just moving the ball.”

Los Angeles is 4-1 without injured All-Star forward Blake Griffin, who watched from the bench again as recovers from surgery on his right elbow.

NOTES: Kings coach George Karl said his return Friday night capped an enormous week and at times was more than he could have imagined. “The first couple of practices were very nervous and last night was extremely overwhelming, and non-deserved,” Karl said. “Sacramento fans are off the charts right now in generosity and kindness toward G.K.” … Kings PG Darren Collison, who played last season with the Clippers, missed his fourth game with a hip flexor strain. Sacramento PG David Stockton, son of Hall of Famer John, made his NBA debut. He scored one point in seven minutes. … Los Angeles C DeAndre Jordan’s 28 free-throw attempts in Thursday’s win over the San Antonio Spurs were the most by a Clipper since World B. Free shot 29 during the 1978-79 season. … Sacramento will get a three-day break before hosting the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday. … Los Angeles plays the Grizzlies on Monday at the Staples Center.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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