Terence Davis and Marvin Bagley III turned in their biggest games of the season to help the Kings do something they hadn’t done against the Los Angeles Clippers for quite some time.
Davis scored a season-high 28 points and Bagley came off the bench to post his first double-double of the year, leading the Kings to a 104-99 victory over the Clippers on Saturday night at Golden 1 Center.
The Kings have had trouble winning games at home this season, but their struggles against the Clippers date back much further. The Clippers had won 15 in a row in Sacramento dating back to March 19, 2013, when the Kings still played at Sleep Train Arena.
Interim coach Alvin Gentry was happy to get a win at home, but he shrugged off the historical context of his team’s victory.
“I’ve been here a year and half, so we’ve only not beaten them three times,” Gentry said. “What happened in the past is in the past. If you talk about that, then I’m going to talk about how great we were defensively when we had Doug Christie.”
Tyrese Haliburton had 18 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Kings (10-14), who beat the Clippers for the second time in 72 hours after picking up a 124-115 victory Wednesday at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
De’Aaron Fox had 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Bagley added 12 points and 11 rebounds in 19 minutes after missing the past two games due to illness.
Marcus Morris Sr. had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Clippers (12-12), who were playing on the second night of a back-to-back after beating the Los Angeles Lakers 119-115 on Friday. Paul George had 15 points and 10 assists, but he went 5 of 21 from the field and committed five turnovers.
Gentry said slowing the seven-time All-Star was a team effort, but he specifically credited Fox and Davion Mitchell.
“Foxy was the primary defender on him a lot of the night and I thought he did a great job,” Gentry said.
The Kings held the Clippers to 38.2% shooting while forcing 18 turnovers. They had eight steals and eight blocked shots.
Fox, Haliburton and Buddy Hield had two steals apiece. Chimezie Metu finished with five blocked shots in 22 minutes.
Morris made 7 of 10 from the field, but the rest of the team went 27 of 79 (.342). Reggie Jackson went 7 of 19, Eric Bledsoe went 0 of 7 and Luke Kennard was 4 of 10.
Haliburton said the team’s defensive effort was inspired by Fox’s work on George from the opening tip.
“Obviously, PG is the head of the snake over there, and I thought Fox set the tone early,” Haliburton said. “… I thought Fox was really good on PG tonight, making it tough for him. PG missed some shots, but I thought Fox did a really good job. He set the tone defensively and we all just kind of followed his lead.”
Gentry didn’t seem to care how many seasons had passed since the Kings beat the Clippers at home. He is much more concerned about how many wins his team has at home this season.
The Kings are 6-6 on the road, but they are 4-8 at home. Going into Saturday’s game, they had almost as many wins at Staples Center (2) as they did at home (3).
Kings fans have endured some low moments in the team’s downtown arena this season — including recent losses to the Philadelphia 76ers and Lakers — but on this night fans chanted “Beat L.A.” as the Kings closed out the win in the final minutes.
“I think from the standpoint of establishing some kind of homecourt advantage, we needed to start winning games at home,” Gentry said. “We’ve been really good on the road and we’ve struggled at home, so, for us, it’s trying to establish something that gives us somewhat of a homecourt advantage.”