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Little let-up in Clippers' tuneup

With playoffs in sight, L.A. cruises past lowly Kings for record-tying 56th victory.

April 13, 2014|Broderick Turner

It was a win. That was all that mattered to the Clippers.

The intensity was lacking for the most part, but the Clippers still worked hard enough for a 117-101 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday afternoon at Staples Center.

No one really expected the Clippers to play with the same passion against a Kings team going nowhere as they displayed Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder in a game that had playoff implications.

"Certain games are a little tougher than others just because one team might not be playing for anything and one team might," said Blake Griffin, who led the Clippers with 27 points on nine-for-15 shooting and nine assists. "But it's a necessary thing. You've got to play the full schedule. But it would kind of be nice to start the playoffs when you're ready."

The Clippers (56-24) had six players score in double figures as they matched their franchise high in wins, set last season by the 56-26 team. They have two games left to establish a new mark.

They also improved to 33-7 at home, breaking the franchise record for most home victories in a season.

"A good win for us," said Chris Paul, who had 17 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. "We've just got to use these last two games to keep getting ready."

Jamal Crawford, who had missed the last five games because of a strained left calf, scored 10 points, including consecutive three-pointers that helped push the Clippers' lead from six points to 12 in the fourth quarter.

DeAndre Jordan did get to work on his free-throw shooting when the Kings began intentionally fouling him with 2:49 left in the second quarter.

Jordan, making 43.9% of his foul shots when the game started, missed eight of his 10 free throws during that stretch. He was three for 11 for the game.

"He took a lot of free throws in the first half," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said.

Other than the missed free throws, Jordan was solid. He had 21 points on nine-for-13 shooting, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots.

"We don't ever call a play for DJ," Rivers said. "I'll tell you what DJ is doing a much better job of is ducking in on the weak side. And that's something we've kind of been urging him to do. It helps if they actually throw it down there when he does and they did that a couple of times."

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins led both teams with 32 points and had 12 rebounds.

But with J.J. Redick (13 points) and Matt Barnes (12 points) chipping in, the Clippers won going away.

"I thought it was real up and down," Rivers said. "But overall, I was pretty happy. I like that we had foul trouble and had to kind of maneuver through that. Their bigs are really tough. Overall, I liked the way we played."





Top of the heap

Winningest seasons in Clippers franchise history:

*--* Year W-L Pct. 2013-14 56-24 700 2012-13 56-26 683 1974-75* 49-33 598 2005-06 47-35 573 1975-76* 46-36 561 *--*

*- as Buffalo Braves

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