NBA Game Summary - Sacramento at LA Clippers
(Sunday, April 15th)
Final Score: Sacramento 105, LA Clippers 100
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Ron Artest posted 15 points and a career- high 10 assists, as the Sacramento Kings held off the playoff-hopeful Los Angeles Clippers, 105-100, at the Staples Center.
The Clippers are now a game behind the Warriors for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, as Golden State downed Minnesota 121-108 earlier in the day. LA ends the regular season with tilts Tuesday at Phoenix and Wednesday at home against New Orleans.
"I was shocked by our play in the first half," LA forward Tim Thomas said. "We didn't have the focus. In the second half, we got it back, but we needed that for 48 minutes. We're still in the race, but now we need Golden State to lose."
Francisco Garcia scored 16 points for Sacramento, which has split its last four games. Mike Bibby scored 15 points, Kevin Martin and John Salmons both had 13, and Brad Miller added 12 in the win.
Elton Brand notched 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Clippers, who had a two- game winning streak snapped after dropping three in a row. Corey Maggette posted 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Quinton Ross netted 14 points and Thomas 13 in the loss.
Trailing 81-65, the Clippers started to rally by going on a 12-4 run to open the final stanza, and Ross' pair of free throws approaching the midway point cut their deficit to just 85-77. LA trimmed its deficit to 104-100 on Maggette's free throw with seven ticks on the clock, but Quincy Douby converted 1-of-2 free throws less than a second later to seal the win, and Maggette missed on a three-point attempt in the final seconds.
Sacramento opened an early lead on a 10-0 run midway through the first sparked by a Shareef Abdur-Rahim dunk, and added a point to its margin, 34-23, heading into the second.
The Kings added to their lead on a 12-2 spurt finished by a Salmons runner midway through the second, and led 60-41 at halftime.
"We didn't play hard in the first half and I was shocked by that," Brand said. "Down by 20 points, that's not effort. Now we need help."
The Kings started pulling away on a 9-2 run ignited by a pair of Martin buckets for a 71-47 lead with 8:11 remaining. The Clippers closed the stanza on a 10-4 spurt as Maggette's free throw with four ticks left made an 81-65 deficit heading into the fourth.
Clippers guard Cuttino Mobley left with a strained left calf in the fourth and did not return...The teams split four games this season. The Kings have won nine of their last 11 at the Clippers.
04/15 18:35:37 ET