Clippers visit Kings at ARCO
(Sports Network) – Two teams trying to earn a berth in the playoffs square off
tonight, as the Sacramento Kings host the Los Angeles Clippers at ARCO Arena.
The Clippers are in possession of the eighth and final playoff spot in the
Western Conference. Sacramento, which has made the postseason eight straight
years, is 3 1/2 games behind the Clippers.
This is the third of four meetings between the clubs this season. The teams
split the first two contests, and the Clippers are scheduled to host the Kings
on April 15th at the Staples Center.
The Clippers have lost 17 straight at Sacramento, as their last win over the
Kings on the road came on November 7, 1997.
Sacramento is rested and will try to make it two wins in a row this evening.
On Sunday, Mike Bibby poured in 37 points, including a career-high 9-of-12
from three-point range, as Sacramento downed Phoenix, 107-100, at ARCO Arena.
Ron Artest scored 24 points and pulled down nine rebounds for the Kings, who
snapped a three-game skid. John Salmons contributed 17 points and five boards,
while Francisco Garcia netted 13 and dished out five assists off the bench in
Sacramento guard Kevin Martin left Sunday’s game in the second quarter after
getting poked in the eye while driving to the basket. The team said Martin had
double vision and he did not return, finishing with just one point and five
Martin and forward Kenny Thomas (fractured left big toe) are probable for
tonight’s contest, while center Brad Miller (plantar fasciitis in left foot)
The Kings are 19-15 at home this season. They will visit Kobe Bryant and the
Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday at the Staples Center.
The Clippers attempt to get back on the winning track. Shane Battier hit the
go-ahead three-pointer with under a minute left, as the Houston Rockets beat
the playoff-hopeful Clippers, 92-87, on Wednesday at the Staples Center.
Elton Brand led the way for LA with 24 points and five blocked shots, but the
Clippers had a four-game winning streak broken. Jason Hart and Tim Thomas both
had 16 points in a losing cause.
On the injury front for the Clippers, veteran point guard Sam Cassell (back
spasms) is questionable. Cassell, who is averaging 13.1 points and 5.1 assists
in 51 games, has missed three straight contests.
The Clippers are 11-24 as the visitor this season. They are scheduled to play
the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday at the Rose Garden.