Isaiah Thomas came off the bench to score a game-high 29 points for the Sacramento Kings, but Chris Paul notched his second double-double in as many nights as the Los Angeles Clippers held off the Kings 110-101 at Sleep Train Arena Friday night.
Paul scored 26 points and handed out 10 assists for the Clippers, who blew a 15-point second half lead before coming back for their second win in as many nights. L.A. beat the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, 126-117.
Paul scored nine points in the final six minutes, including a big 3-pointer that put the Clippers ahead to stay midway through the fourth quarter.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds and scored on a short hook to get the Kings to within 102-99 in the late going, but L.A. sealed the win at the free-throw line.
Sacramento’s defense—solid in their opening-night win over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday—sprung some leaks against the Clippers on Friday night. L.A. shot 50 percent from the floor, including 12-for-24 from deep.
“I love the fact that we got back in the game and we didn’t stop competing,” Kings coach Michael Malone told the Associated Press. “But you can’t beat a good team if you allow them to shoot 50 percent from the field and from the 3-point line.”
Midway through the fourth quarter, Thomas tied the game on a drive and a layup and Jason Thompson canned a jumper that gave Sacramento its first lead since early in the game.
But Paul ran off five straight points and tossed up a lob for DeAndre Jordan as the Clippers jumped back out on top.
Blake Griffin scored 20 points, hauled down 17 rebounds and had six assists for the Clippers, who also got 18 points from reserve Jamal Crawford and 13 points from J.J. Redick.
Marcus Thornton scored 17 points for the Kings and Thompson had 11. The Kings shot 45.6 percent (36-for-79), but just 6-for-17 from long range.
The Kings (1-1) head to Oakland Saturday night to play the Warriors in a 7:30 p.m. tipoff at the Oracle Arena.