The Los Angeles Clippers will try to extend a home winning streak while the Sacramento Kings seek their third road victory in a row when the teams tangle at the Staples Center on Tuesday. The Clippers haven’t lost in Los Angeles since Dec. 6, although they’ve played just three home games in that span and have piled up some road losses in that span, including Saturday’s 115-112 loss at Memphis.
“Emotionally, on defense, we weren’t communicating,” guard Austin Rivers told reporters. “We weren’t into it. They got too many buckets, and it cost us down the stretch.” Rivers has set a career high in scoring in consecutive games with 36 in an upset win at Houston on Friday and then 38 in the loss to the Grizzlies. He will take aim at a Sacramento squad that returned from a 2-2 road trip to lose 108-99 to the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday. Buddy Hield, who scored 27 points in the Kings’ loss to the Clippers last month, has scored exactly 24 points in two of the last three games.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, NBCSN California (Sacramento), Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE KINGS (11-21): Guard De’Aaron Fox missed his second straight game Saturday with a quad tear and he will be reevaluated in two weeks, which could open up more playing time for fellow rookie Frank Mason III. In order to secure an increased role Mason may need to overcome his current shooting woes, as the Kansas product is 1-for-14 from the floor over the last two games while producing just five points and two assists in 32 total minutes. Center Willie Cauley-Stein recorded his fifth double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds against the Spurs, but he is averaging just 8.6 points on 45.7 percent shooting on the road, compared to 13.8 on 51.9 percent at home.
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (13-19): Rivers has taken advantage of his opportunity with Los Angeles enduring a litany of injuries this season, and the 25-year-old has become the first Clipper to hit the 35-point mark in consecutive games since Blake Griffin in 2014. Lou Williams has kept pace with 32 and 36 points, respectively, over the last two outings, and the tandem has made 23 3-pointers in that span. They combined for 32 points and 15 assists in the win at Sacramento last month.
1. Clippers C DeAndre Jordan has grabbed exactly 20 rebounds in four of his last seven games and is averaging 17.7 in December.
2. Kings G Bogdan Bogdanovic made all three of his 3-point attempts against San Antonio after going 0-for-5 over his previous two games.
3. The teams will play a home-and-home set Jan. 11 and 13 to complete the four-game season series.
PREDICTION: Clippers 106, Kings 100