In the first game at Staples Center since the tragic passing of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant this past Sunday, the visiting Sacramento Kings, led by De'Aaron Fox, cruised to a comfortable win against the LA Clippers.
Paul George returned to the Clippers line-up after previously missing nine games but then Kawhi Leonard sat out this one due to back tightness after playing eight of the team's last nine games.
Coming into this one, the Kings had lost seven of their last 10 while the Clippers had won eight of their last 10 games.
Kobe Bryant tribute
This was the first game at Staples Center since Bryant's passing and the Clippers honoured him with a 24-second moment of silence, a tribute video while leaving his retired jerseys uncovered.
Paul George narrated the Clippers' tribute to Bryant:
pic.twitter.com/9Cqhxz0uHZ- LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 31, 2020
Postgame, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers mentioned that the franchise intends to keep Bryant's jerseys uncovered for the rest of the season.
Cory Joseph sparks Kings' 2nd Q domination
After the first 12 minutes, the Clippers led 33-28 but the Kings turned the tables in the second quarter and never looked back.
They erupted for 36 points (13-22 FGs; 9-16 3Ps) in the quarter while only conceding 14.
While the Kings' backcourt duo of Fox and Buddy Hield combined for 16 points (6-10 FGs) in the period, Cory Josep was the top-scorer with 12 (4-5 3Ps), nearly outscoring the Clippers by himself.
In fact, Joseph also dished out three assists in the period, scoring or assisting on the 19 Kings points in the period.
Fox's career game but PG struggles
Third-year player Fox had the best scoring game of his career. His 34 points (14-24 FG's), a career-high, was spread almost evenly through all four quarters.
Along with his career-high points tally, he contributed across the board, finishing with eight assists, four steals, three rebounds, and two blocks in 35 minutes. He was easily the pick of the Kings in this one.
De'Aaron Fox in tonight's win over Clippers:- StatMamba (@statmuse) January 31, 2020
34 PTS (career high)
He's the first Kings player with that stat line since Chris Webber in 2003. pic.twitter.com/g9kHIA8DBJ
Four other Kings finished in double figures - Bogdan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hield, Cory Joseph, and Dewayne Dedmon - as they knocked down a franchise-best 21 3-pointers (51.2%).
On the other hand, for the Clippers, the duo of Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell combined for 43 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds but they couldn't compete with Paul George having an off-game.
George only managed eight points while shooting 2-of-10 from the field and 1-of-4 from beyond the arc.
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