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November 1, 2013
Postgame notes: Defense lets the Kings down in loss to Clippers

DeMarcus Cousins summed the Kings biggest problem in their 110-101 loss to the Clippers easily:

"The shots we gave up tonight, anybody could have come in here and won tonight. We've got to get better on the defensive end."

The Kings had only 10 turnovers and outscored the Clippers 40-26 in the paint.

Those should be keys to a win.

But the Clippers shot 50 percent for the game (35 of 70) including 12 of 24 on three pointers.

"That's a team that a lot of people picked that could make the NBA Finals," said Kings coach Michael Malone. "If you're going to try and guard those guys with no contact and not making them feel you, it could be a long night."

*The Kings better make contact with the Golden State Warriors Saturday night in Oakland or they'll be 1-2. That's another team that can get hot from the perimeter quickly.

*The Kings gave up 30 points or more in the second and fourth quarters.

*Isaiah Thomas scored a game-high 29 points, picking up the Kings after their sluggish start to the third quarter.

"It's just a feeling; every basketball player feels it," Thomas said. "I made a couple shots; I got on a roll a little bit. My teammates kept finding me and I was just aggressive. I was trying to make plays and I saw a few plays I could make and I did."

Malone on Thomas off the bench:

"He's been that for us in so many of our games going back to the preseason. He comes in, plays with great energy, puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the opposing defense, pick and rolls, attacking, hit some big shots, got the crowd back in the game. He applies great ball pressure defensively. He was playing so well, I decided not to put Greivis (Vasquez) back in the game because Isaiah kind of had it rolling and that group that was in there was playing so well, so we went with them for awhile. But IT has been great for us and we're going to need that type of effort and energy from him every night."

*Cousins is not a fan of Chris Paul's in-game tactics. Paul is an agitator and has made Cousins his target against the Kings more than once.

"I don't really have to speak on it - you all know what he does," Cousins said of Paul. "It's obvious."

*On his fourth-quarter technical foul on Cousins: He said he was trying to get the crowd going and was not taunting Paul.

*The Kings didn't have enough to slow Blake Griffin, who finished with 20 points, 17 rebounds and six assists.

"We knew this was going to be a game like this," Griffin said. "The Kings are not a team that you can look past anymore. It was not an easy victory at all by any means. They're playing good basketball. They got the players. DeMarcus is playing at a high level. Isaiah is playing at a high level. We knew that it was going to be tough."

*Marcus Thornton looked like himself with 17 points. Malone said it was the best Thornton has looked, including the preseason.



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