Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were in complete synch all night as the Clips rolled to a historic win at Staples Center, and DeMarcus Cousins acted like DeMarcus Cousins.
Not only did the world continue its existence, but so did the Los Angeles Clippers' winning streak as they used a strong fourth quarter to defeat the Sacramento Kings, 97-85, at Staples Center on Friday night.
On a day that was supposed to be doomsday according to the ancient Mayans, the Clippers showed plenty of life as they rolled to their 12th straight win, setting a franchise record in the process. Sacramento, on the other hand, has some personnel issues to attend to, both on and off the court.
Blake Griffin scored 21 points, 16 of which came in the first half and added 13 rebounds, while Chris Paul filled up the stat sheet in his own regard with 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting, 13 assists and five rebounds. Jimmer Fredette led the Kings with 16 points off the bench on 4-of-10 from the field.
Kings head coach Keith Smart benched DeMarcus Cousins for conduct detrimental to the team after an apparent altercation at halftime. Without their troubled big man on the floor, the Kings showed resiliency and outplayed the Clippers in the third quarter with stifling defense, holding L.A. to just 31.8 percent shooting.
The Clippers used a 53-32 rebounding margin to create opportunities in transition, and Sacramento couldn't get enough easy baskets to keep pace. The Kings scored only four fast break points and managed just 16 points off the Clippers' 20 turnovers.
The Kings tumultuous season continues, as they move to 8-18. The Clippers, meanwhile moved to 20-6 and sit atop the Pacific Division.