SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Chris Paul had 26 points and 10 assists for his third straight double-double, and the Los Angeles Clippers came back after blowing a 15-point lead in the second half to beat the Sacramento Kings 110-101 on Friday night.
Blake Griffin added 20 points, 17 rebounds and six assists while reserve Jamal Crawford had 18 points for the Clippers, who have won two straight since a season-opening loss to the Lakers.
Six players scored in double figures for Los Angeles, which trailed 92-90 midway through the fourth quarter before going ahead for good on a 3-pointer by Paul. The Clippers’ point guard had nine points over the final 6 minutes, including four consecutive free throws to extend the lead to 108-101.
Reserve Isaiah Thomas scored 29 points for Sacramento.
The Clippers led most of the game and were ahead 66-51 early in the third quarter before the Kings made their best run of the night behind Thomas.
Thomas, Sacramento’s diminutive backup point guard, scored seven points including a driving layup as he crashed to the court. That helped the Kings trim the gap to single digits, and Travis Outlaw’s tip-in following DeMarcus Cousins’ missed 18-footer cut the Clippers lead to 79-77 heading into the fourth quarter.
A driving layup by Thomas tied the game at 90-all, and Jason Thompson’s jumper gave the Kings their first lead since early in the first half.
It didn’t last long.
Paul scored five straight points and fed DeAndre Jordan with an alley-oop pass for a dunk that gave Los Angeles a 97-94 lead.
Cousins, who finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds, scored on a short hook to pull the Kings within 102-99 but Jared Dudley and Paul made two free throws apiece to help the Clippers seal the win.
Los Angeles led comfortably until Sacramento’s push in the second half.
Matt Barnes and J.J. Redick made consecutive 3s as part of a 12-0 run by the Clippers midway through the first quarter. The Kings pulled even at 22-all on two free throws from Thomas before Crawford made a runner in the lane to give Los Angeles the early lead.
Crawford scored six of the Clippers’ first nine points in the second quarter and Griffin added four on a driving layup and two free throws to help Los Angeles take a 41-31 lead.
The Kings shot just 38.1 percent in the first half but pulled within 52-45 on a free throw by Thomas with 21.5 seconds left. Paul answered with a 15-footer to extend the Clippers’ lead to nine at halftime.
NOTES: Cousins was called for a technical foul late in the fourth quarter after blocking a shot by Paul. The two had previously exchanged words after Paul appeared to push on Cousins’ face while the Kings’ center was on the ground. … Former NBA star and current Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson was among those seated courtside.