Thornton Leads Kings’ Rally To Stun Clippers In Sacramento
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Marcus Thornton had 25 points, Toney Douglas scored 17 of his 19 in the fourth quarter and the Sacramento Kings rallied from eight down in the final 11 minutes to stun the Los Angeles Clippers 116-101 on Tuesday night.
DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans added 17 points apiece for the Kings, who beat the Pacific Division-leading Clippers for the first time in more than two years.
They did it behind a stellar effort off the bench from Thornton and a smothering defense that held Los Angeles to just five buckets in the final quarter.
Blake Griffin had three of them and finished with 26 points, four rebounds and five assists for the Clippers. Los Angeles has lost four of its last seven.
Thornton went 7 of 14 from the floor and made six 3s but it was Douglas, the midseason acquisition from Houston, who came up biggest for Sacramento. He made three straight 3s after the Clippers pulled within 98-96 then added four free throws in the final 1:30 to help seal the win.
Cousins, who missed the past two games with a bruised left quad, also gave the Kings a spark despite playing in foul trouble most of the game. The emotional Cousins helped hold Los Angeles center DeAndre Jordan to 11 points, and finished with 11 rebounds for his 29th double-double of the season.
It’s the Kings’ first win over the Clippers since Feb. 28, 2011 and one that will definitely sting Los Angeles.
The Clippers went into the game third in the Western Conference but are losing their grip a bit after losing for the fourth time in their last seven games.
It didn’t help coach Vinny Del Negro’s team when they lost starting guard Chauncey Billups to a groin injury in the first quarter, but Los Angeles was still up 86-78 following Jamal Crawford’s fifth 3 of the night.
That’s when Sacramento responded with a 13-0 run ignited by eight points from Evans.
Thornton later made a 3-pointer to put the Kings up 94-89 then Sacramento withheld one final push by the Clippers until Douglas’ late scoring barrage.
Griffin helped the Clippers get off to a fast start. He had eight points in the first quarter, including a two-handed jam that capped an 11-2 run and put Los Angeles up 21-15. Griffin also had an assist on Jordan’s alley-oop dunk during the run.
Sacramento tied the game on Isaiah Thomas’ layup with 0.2 seconds remaining in the quarter before Griffin opened the second with another thunderous throw down, this time on an alley-oop pass from Matt Barnes.
Crawford later scored eight straight points for Los Angeles before Sacramento made four consecutive 3s and Cole Aldrich followed up Jimmer Fredette’s miss to give the Kings a 45-41 lead.
The Clippers regained the advantage despite losing Billups but Cousins returned after resting most of the period and scored on consecutive trips down the court to put Sacramento ahead 56-54 at halftime.
Los Angeles regained the lead in the third and went up 86-78 following Crawford’s 3-pointer early in the fourth before Evans sparked Sacramento’s big run to put the Kings ahead.
Notes: Sacramento forward Jason Thompson had to be taken to the locker room after suffering a cut over his right eye following a collision with Jordan. Blood streamed from Thompson’s face and the game was halted briefly while he was escorted off the court.