With Playoff implications on the line, the Sacramento Kings entered tonight’s final game in Los Angeles hoping to play the role of spoiler.
Unfortunately, the hometown team defended their turf as the Clippers toppled the Kings 115-95 in both teams’ regular season finale.
Five Kings scored in double figures Wednesday night, led by Willie Cauley-Stein. He flirted with a triple-double, finishing with a well-rounded game. The second-year big man out of Kentucky totaled an impressive 19 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and one block on the night.
Sacramento played neck-and-neck with Los Angeles on their home floor until midway through the third quarter. The Clippers built on a four-point, halftime advantage by closing out the period on a 22-12 run. From there, the Clippers ballooned their lead to an insurmountable difference the Kings couldn’t overcome for the remainder of the game.
At around 50 percent, both teams shot practically even on the night. The difference in the contest, however, were three critical scoring categories. The Clippers topped the Kings in points off turnovers (16-2), points in the paint (48-34) and fast break points (26-5).
In addition to Cauley-Stein, Sacramento saw standout performances from Arron Afflalo, Buddy Hield and Ben McLemore. Afflalo scored 18 on an effective 8-of-11 from the field while Hield chipped in 16 on 2-of-4 shooting from 3-point distance. McLemore came off the bench to contribute a healthy 15 points to go along with seven rebounds, a block and an assist.