At the moment Ron Artest stole Quinton Ross' ill-advised pass - turning a Clippers' 3 on 1 break into a Spencer Hawes' dunk - this game turned. As Mike Smith has told us many, many times, momentum is real. Instead of a 5 point Clippers' lead, the Kings cut the lead to 1. More importantly, the steal and the resulting dunk energized the Kings and the crowd. The dunk began a 10 run to close the first half. And the momentum carried over to the second half, which the Kings opened with a 15-4 run. That's a 25-4 run in a game that finished in a 12 point Kings win. Not much more to talk about.
I mentioned in the Preview that Kevin Martin would eventually break out and have a big game against the Clippers - well, it happened. He scored 26 points in only 29 minutes. He was instrumental in the 25-4 run making consecutive threes to close the first half, including a buzzer barely beater that the Clippers never should have given him. He finished 4 for 5 on threes, including one 29 footer, just to prove a point I guess.
Elton Brand played well in his second game back (15 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks in 27 minutes), but you mustn't forget that the Clippers are still missing three starters (Kaman, Mobley and Livingston) and a key reserve (Thomas). Maggette had a strong scoring game with 28 (but he also had 6 turnovers); Nick Fazekas continued his strong play with a career high 18; but with Al Thornton having one of his periodic ice cold nights (3-14), the Clippers just didn't have enough.
Now it's back to LA, and Elton's home debut against the Rockets. There are still a few things to look forward to this season.