THE STORY: A lot has happened in the two days since the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Clippers met. Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was fined $25,000 on Friday for publicly criticizing the officials and also called Clippers forward Blake Griffin “an actor” and said the All-Star was “babied.” “He’s the poster child of the league,” Cousins said. “He sells tickets, but he’s babied. Bottom line.” The teams meet Saturday at Staples Center to complete the home-and-home as the Clippers look to sweep the three-game season series.
TV: 10:30 ET, CSN CA (Kings), FS West (Clippers)
ABOUT THE KINGS (19-36): With 12, Cousins is one technical away from an automatic one-game suspension, but he doesn’t plan to change the way he plays – especially tonight. Cousins fouled out of Thursday’s game after playing just 18 minutes. He scored only eight points and did not attempt a free throw. The Kings are basically out of playoff contention, so playing spoiler is something to which they can cling. “It’s going to be intense,” said Kings guard Tyreke Evans. “(There) might be some people coming back with bruises.”
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (33-22): The Clippers have won seven of eight and will try to cut into the Lakers’ lead in the Pacific Division. Griffin refused to get into a war of words with Cousins. Coach Vinny Del Negro praised Griffin’s self-control. “I thought it got a little physical there,” Del Negro said of Thursday’s matchup. “But Blake’s doing a good job with that, keeping his composure. That was big.” Clippers guard Mo Williams, who has missed eight games because of a sprained left big toe, hopes to play Saturday night.
1. Sacramento leading scorer Marcus Thornton likely will miss a third consecutive game because of a bruised left calf.
2. The Kings were just 4 of 17 (23.5 percent) from behind the 3-point line.
3. The Clippers have won four of the last five meetings against the Kings in Los Angeles, including the last two
PREDICTION: Clippers 103, Kings 99
This is the last meeting between the Clippers and Kings for the 2011 – 2012 NBA Regular season.