Griffin, Barnes combine for 56 points as Clippers beat Kings
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Matt Barnes kept the Clippers close when they got off to a sluggish start against Sacramento.
Blake Griffin helped them pull away for yet another road win over the Kings.
Barnes had 22 points in the first half, Griffin scored 18 of his 30 in the second half, and Los Angeles pulled away in the third quarter for a 117-108 victory Saturday night.
"I saw we were struggling there in the first half so I had to pick it up for my team," said Barnes, who finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds. "In the third quarter we were able to open it up a little bit. We had a run there that really got us going."
Chris Paul added 12 points and nine assists, J.J. Redick had 18 points and Jamal Crawford scored 13 off the bench for the Clippers, who bounced back from Friday’s home loss to Cleveland to win for the fourth straight time at Sleep Train Arena.
Griffin had 13 points in the third quarter and then scored five over the final 3 1/2 minutes of the game to help Los Angeles to its fourth win in six games overall.
"I was just doing what I could to get us the win, get us back on track," Griffin said. "They came at us, but we got some stops to get a flow. Against the Cavs we didn’t do that."
Jason Thompson had 23 points and a career-high 22 rebounds for the Kings, who have dropped three straight. Sacramento played without leading scorer and rebounder DeMarcus Cousins.
Both teams were playing the tail end of back-to-backs and it showed, especially early on.
Griffin got the Clippers going in the third quarter when he repeatedly got inside and to the free throw line. With Cousins out and backup Ryan Hollins in foul trouble, the Kings couldn’t keep up.
Los Angeles went on an 11-0 run to go up 75-64 midway through the third. Paul, limited to two points in the first half, scored four and lobbed a pass to Griffin for a dunk.
Sacramento cut the gap to 86-79 early in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get any closer.
"I can’t be any more happy about our effort," said Kings guard Darren Collison, who had 17 points and four assists. "We had a lot of guys that couldn’t play this game due to injuries, but we had a lot of guys that stepped up. If we play with that same effort, we’re going to be all right."
Rudy Gay, who sat out Friday’s loss to Miami after injuring his left knee capsule on Tuesday, had 22 points off the bench for the Kings. He was listed as questionable before the game and did not start, checking in with just more than 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Barnes had 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting in the first half, but Gay made a pair of 3-pointers over the final 70 seconds of the second quarter to tie the game at 52.
With about six minutes left in the fourth, the Kings resorted to fouling Clippers center DeAndre Jordan away from the basket, much like Cleveland did in the third quarter. And as he did against the Cavs, Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers pulled Jordan and finished the game with Spencer Hawes.
Clippers: Paul had five early assists but didn’t score until there was 2:21 left in the second quarter. … Rivers’ son, Austin, scored one point after being held scoreless in his Clippers debut. … Barnes made more 3-pointers in the first half (four) than the Kings’ entire team (three).
Kings: Cousins is nursing a sprained right ankle sustained in Friday’s loss to Miami. … The Kings were also missing key reserve Carl Landry (sprained wrist). … Sacramento plays six of its next seven on the road. … The Kings signed F Quincy Miller to a 10-day contract. … Omri Casspi left in the first half with a right eye injury and did not return.
Clippers: Host Boston on Monday.
Kings: At Portland on Monday.