Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/9

Game 1: Tuesday, December 9th
Game 2: Saturday, January 3rd
Game 3: Monday, January 19th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 2nd

Kings 116

(22-8, 6-6 away)

Clippers 109

(13-16, 10-8 home)

    Coverage: FSPI

    1:00 PM ET, January 3, 2004

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    SAC 35 24 29 28116
    LAC 27 31 26 25109

    Top Performers

    Sac: D. Christie 22 Pts, 2 Reb, 10 Ast, 2 Stl

    LAC: E. Brand 19 Pts, 9 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Christie makes 10-of-12 FGs, has 10 assists

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Doug Christie not only was an offensive force for the Sacramento Kings, he also did a commendable job defending a player coming off the most prolific game of his career.

    Christie scored a season-high 22 points on 10-for-12 shooting, dished out 10 assists and held Quentin Richardson in check after his 44-point effort on New Year's Eve as the Kings beat the Los Angeles Clippers 116-109 Saturday.

    "Doug was terrific. That's got to be a great shot in the arm for him because he hasn't really gotten a lot of shots," coach Rick Adelman said. "That one stretch when I had Mike and Peja on the bench at the start of the fourth, he made three or four straight shots."

    Christie, who entered with the lowest field goal percentage of any Sacramento starter (.443), was 4-for-4 in the first quarter -- including a buzzer-beating 14-footer that gave the Kings a 35-27 lead.

    "Doug's shooting the ball with a lot of confidence," teammate Mike Bibby said. "He was making shots early, so we were getting him the ball. He hit a lot of tough shots, as well as open ones."

    Bibby scored 23 points, helping Sacramento beat the Clippers for the 16th time in their last 21 meetings. Peja Stojakovic, the NBA's second-leading scorer, finished with 21 as the Kings came back from a five-day layoff and evened their road record at 6-6.

    Predrag Drobnjak scored 22 points for the Clippers, who played the final 17:40 without starting point guard Marko Jaric after he sprained his left foot. Richardson and Corey Maggette each had 21 points and Elton Brand had 19, but it wasn't enough to prevent Sacramento's 18th victory in 22 games.

    Richardson, who made a career-high 17 field goals against the Denver Nuggets, was 9-for-22 against Christie's defense and 2-for-8 from 3-point range.

    "He's so tough because he's so strong," Christie said of Richardson. "He's so deadly inside or outside. He was knocking down his set shots, and I just tried to stay with him as much as I could -- even when I was on the weak side. I tried to keep a hand on him just to let him know that I was there, and it deterred him a little bit from trying to get the ball.

    Brand's tip-in of Maggette's missed layup with 2:41 remaining gave the Clippers a 103-102 lead, their first since the opening minute of the third quarter. But Stojakovic's 3-pointer put the Kings back in front, and Christie found Brad Miller for a backdoor layup and a 108-105 edge with 1:26 left.

    Bibby clinched it with six foul shots in the final 59 seconds.

    "To be a good team, we need to play well down the stretch. And that just didn't happen today," Brand said. "The last two minutes of the game really hurt us. Sacramento is a playoff team, a veteran-laden team, and they know how to execute. That's what we're learning right now."

    Former Clippers forward Tony Massenberg had two of his shots blocked by Brand on consecutive possessions early in the fourth quarter, then was hit with two quick technical fouls by referee Joe Crawford after arguing his foul on Drobnjak the next time down the floor. Maggette converted both free throws, and Drobnjak sank both of his to tie the score at 88 with 10:49 remaining.

    "It's just uncalled for in the course of a game like that to get two technical fouls and get kicked out. It's a four-point game. I mean, you can be upset when guys make plays like that, but you can't let it go in that direction. I was more upset about that," Adelman said.

    Bibby and Stojakovic each scored 11 points in the first half and Christie made his first five shots as the Kings took a 59-58 lead at intermission. Drobnjak had 10 points off the bench during a 5:07 span to help trim Sacramento's 12-point lead to 53-52 with 2:16 left in the second quarter.

    Game notes

    The Clippers received a scare with 5:40 left in the third quarter when Richardson took a charge from Vlade Divac and Brand landed on Richardson's left knee. ... The Kings have used the same starting lineup in 29 of their first 30 games. The only blemish was Dec. 25 against Dallas, when Stojakovic was suspended. No player appeared in all 82 games for Sacramento last season. ... Bibby's sister, Charlsie, is married to Clippers G Eddie House. ... The Kings haven't had a losing month since April, 2000. ... The Clippers conclude their six-game homestand Sunday against their Staples Center co-tenants, the Lakers, who are the designated "visiting" team.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 116 109
    FGM-FGA 43-78 (.551) 43-92 (.467)
    3PM-3PA 7-9 (.778) 3-12 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 23-28 (.821) 20-25 (.800)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-36 15-38
    Assists 29 24
    Turnovers 15 11
    Steals 8 9
    Blocks 3 3
    Fast Break Points 4 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (2/0) 27 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Doug Christie Christie
    Points: 22
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 19
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 2