All good things come to a, well, you know.

With Saturday’s 104-99 defeat, the Clippers lost a game for the first time in 16 trips to Sacramento and, what’s more, they remained winless in the second game of a back-to-back, 0 for 4 so far this season.

They Clippers trailed 90-76 with 7:23 to play, but they characteristically chipped away, closing to to 95-92, buoyed partially by free throws from three throws from Marcus Morris Sr., two from Luke Kennard and an Ivica Zubac tip-in.

A 3-pointer from Terence Davis gave the Kings back a bit of their buffer with 2:48 to play, after which neither team scored again until Davis sank a pair of free throws with 1:38 remaining, pushing Sacramento’s advantage to 100-92.

Davis — a 7.1 points-per-game contributor coming into Saturday’s game — continued to punish the Clippers, against whom he dropped 23 Wednesday night. His encore was even more spectacular; he scored a season-high and game-high 28 points Saturday.

“He just had a good game — two big games,” Clippers Coach Tyronn Lue said. “He’s a good player … Very aggressive, we know he can score the basketball. Did not know that he could shoot the ball the way he did tonight, but, he’s a good player. And tonight he hurt us.”

Despite his outsized output, the Clippers managed to maintain hope until very late.

On a gliding layup from Reggie Jackson with 32.2 seconds left, the Clippers drew within 101-96. Jackson missed the ensuing free throw and Morris was called for a foul fighting for the rebound, giving the ball back to Sacramento — at least momentarily, before a successful coach’s challenge resulted in a double foul, assessing another on De’Aaron Fox (17 points).

That set up a jump ball, which Zubac tipped to Morris, giving possession back to the Clippers.

But after a timeout, they came up empty on a lob attempt to Paul George, and Fox, who was fouled with 24.2 seconds remaining, made one of two from the free-throw line.

And still, L.A. had life: Morris — who scored a team-high 21 points and grabbed a season-high nine rebounds — drained a 30-footer to cut Sacramento’s lead in half, 102-99.

But Jackson was forced to fouled Buddy Hield (10 points, six fewer than his average) to stop the clock and he sank both of his free throws to seal the eight-year-long-streak-busting win.

George had one of his worst shooting nights of the season, going 5 for 21 from the field en route to 15 points, though he added 10 assists (and five turnovers). Jackson also struggled, shooting 7 for 19 for 18 points.

Playing their fifth game in seven days, the Clippers (12-12) could have used more in support of Morris, who again was efficient, shooting 7 for 10 and 4 for 6 from 3-point page.

Zubac notched his seventh double-double, finishing with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Off the bench, Kennard chipped in with 12 points.

“The schedule hasn’t been to our favor, early on,” Lue said. “We know that, we understand that, but just some of the mental mistakes, we got to do a better job of cleaning up … It is what it is. I thought our guys battled and competed, they just have more in the tank. They executed a little better than we did.

“And then, first half, I just thought offensively we got some missed opportunities when guys are open. The same plays we made last night, we didn’t make tonight. Just got to keep showing these guys and continue to keep working on it and making the right play.”

And although the Clippers held the Kings (10-14) to their ninth-lowest-scoring game this season in front of 15,004 fans at Golden 1 Center, they couldn’t conjure up enough offense of their own to capitalize. It was the eighth time this season the Clippers failed to score at least 100 points.

The Clippers rode momentum into the game, fresh off Friday night’s 119-115 victory over the Lakers into their rematch with Sacramento. They lost to the Kings 124-115 on Wednesday at Staples Center, a victory that evened Sacramento’s record at 3-3 since Luke Walton was fired and Alvin Gentry took over as coach.

But what started as a sprint Saturday quickly became a slog.

The Clippers got off to a promising start, shooting 11 for 23 from the field and 6 for 10 from 3-point range in the first quarter to keep up with the pace-pushing Kings, who hadn’t played since Wednesday.

They finished the first frame tied, 29-29, but their offense stalled in the second quarter, when they shot just 4 for 22 from the field, and 1 for 10 from deep and endured a six-minute scoring lull and still somehow went into halftime down just 50-45.

Lue started Serge Ibaka beside Zubac for the third game, but he inserted Terance Mann in Ibaka’s place to start the second half. Ibaka didn’t play at all after halftime, finishing with two points in 12 minutes. Mann finished with nine points on 3-for-7 shooting.

L.A. native Chimezie Metu (USC) finished with five points — and a career-high five blocks.

More to come on this story.

(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)



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