41 down, 41 to go.
Tonight marked the halfway point of the Clippers' season (boy, time flies when you're arguing in the comments section!), and with tonight's win, they stand at a solid 27-14.
The game remained close throughout the first half, and Matt Barnes continued his recent trend of spectacular play, as he exploded for 22 points in 19 first half minutes (he would finish with 26). The Sacramento Kings were without center DeMarcus Cousins, who is dealing with an ankle injury, but they managed 13 offensive boards in the half despite old friend Ryan Hollins starting in place of the injured Cousins.
The Clippers pulled away in the third quarter, powered by Blake Griffin's 18 second half points (he finished with 30, 5, and 5). Chris Paul's shooting struggles continued, but he still managed 12 points and nine assists. Jamal Crawford was once again the lone star off the bench, and threw in 13 points on a tough 5-15 shooting night. For the Kings, Jason Thompson finished with 23 points and 22 boards, while Rudy Gay came back from a minor knee injury to score 22 off the bench.
Newly acquired guard Austin Rivers remains field-goalless as a Clipper thus far (0-7), but he did tally his first point of his Clipper career on one made free throw in the third quarter. But Rivers' effort tonight was not futile--he was active on defense, full of energy and managed to force a few turnovers. For what it's worth, it's nice to see a little pep in the step of the backup point guard.
Next up for the Clippers are the Boston Celtics, who will visit Staples Center for a Martin Luther King Day matinee.