Kawhi-less Clippers drop trip finale in Sacramento

By ERIC HE The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — The Clippers’ four-game road trip ended without All-Star Kawhi Leonard and without a win.

Domantas Sabonis had 22 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists, and the Sacramento Kings beat the Clippers, 109-95, on Tuesday night.

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said he hopes Leonard, who flew back to Los Angeles for treatment on a sore knee after playing on Sunday at Charlotte and has stayed relatively healthy this season, will be available Thursday night against Western Conference-leading Denver.

Russell Westbrook led the Clippers with 20 points. Paul George had 18 and Norman Powell, starting for Leonard, scored 17.

The Kings moved within one game of sixth-place New Orleans in the Western Conference as they seek to avoid the play-in tournament. Sacramento (44-31) is tied with Phoenix with seven games left, including a four-game trip that begins Thursday at New York. The Clippers are fourth in the West.

De’Aaron Fox added 20 points and seven assists for the Kings, and Keegan Murray had 19 points.

Sacramento led by just five at halftime but outscored the Clippers 35-19 in the third quarter, with Sabonis scoring nine in the period.

Murray punctuated the run with an emphatic dunk off a Clippers turnover on a fast break. Neither Ivica Zubac nor Westbrook joined their teammates down the court on offense after the Kings committed a turnover, and when the Clippers gave it right back, Murray hesitated before slamming it on Zubac with his right hand to put the Kings ahead, 76-62.

Sacramento scored the last seven of the quarter, with a dunk by Alex Len giving the Kings a 91-70 lead heading into the fourth.

Sacramento led by 16 after a 20-4 run in the second quarter. Davion Mitchell had 14 points in the first half, including four 3-pointers. But the Clippers cut the deficit to 56-51 at halftime.


The Clippers host Denver on Thursday at 7 p.m.

More to come on this story.

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