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March 1, 2012
Kings fall to Clippers, 108-100

Head coach Keith Smart addresses the media following the Kings' loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at Power Balance Pavilion.

After playing one of their best offensive halves of the season for the first 24 minutes on Thursday night, the Kings cooled off in the second half and lost to the Los Angeles Clippers at Power Balance Pavilion, 108-100.

The Kings shot 57.5 percent from the floor in the first half -- and still went into halftime with the score tied at 57-57, thanks in part to nine turnovers.

They made just 14 of 39 shots (35.9 percent) after the intermission and finished with 18 turnovers that led to 27 points for the Clippers.

"(The Clippers) got a little more aggressive, a little more physical as we tried to attack the basket," said Kings head coach Keith Smart. "They got in there and knocked some balls loose and they turned over some points.

"This is a top team in the league and you have to play a perfect game. I thought we played a perfect game for about five minutes here and there. Once we didn't do that, the game got away from us."

Los Angeles guards Chris Paul and Mo Williams combined for 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Clippers stretched their lead to as many as 19 points late in the game.

The Clippers got open for several of the emphatic dunks that they have become known for. But they also made the Kings pay for trying to defend the paint by knocking down 12 of 23 three-pointers.

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins led all scorers with 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his 22nd double-double of the season. Tyreke Evans added 18 points and six rebounds, while Marcus Thornton had 18 points.

Isaiah Thomas, who earlier in the day was named the NBA's Western Conference Rookie of the Month for February, finished with 10 points and four assists, but also committed six turnovers.

Paul led the Clippers with 22 points and nine assists. Williams scored 18 points off the bench and forward Blake Griffin had 14 points and nine rebounds.

Both teams shot well in the first half. The Clippers pulled ahead in a physical third quarter that had the Kings questioning several non-calls under the basket.

"The refs weren't calling fouls but I think we were a little too busy trying to get the foul too much," Thomas said. "Sometimes refs don't call the foul but you've just got to play. We didn't do a good job of that."

The Clippers finished with 30 assists, compared to 14 for the Kings.

J.J. Hickson came down hard after going up for a rebound late in the third quarter and sustained what the Kings termed a left hip injury. He will undergo further testing and was on crutches after the game.



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