LOS ANGELES — Just 24 hours after defeating the Utah Jazz 108-95 and clinching a playoff berth for the sixth straight season, the LA Clippers blew an 18-point lead at home in a 98-97 loss to the Sacramento Kings. The Clippers led by 18 points with five minutes remaining, but missed their final nine field goal attempts in potentially the most disappointing loss of the season.
Had the Clippers won, they would have moved to a tie for the No. 4 spot with the Utah Jazz.
Instead, they’re tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the loss column for the No. 6 spot.
“This is a bad loss,” Chris Paul said after the game. “The worst one we’ve had in the regular season by far.”
Willie Cauley-Stein‘s putback with 1.8 seconds left completed the unbelievable 22-3 run in the final few minutes of the game.
“I just remember taking off and seeing Ben [McLemore] had a lay-up and the only thing I’m thinking is, ‘If this ball comes off, I’ve got to grab it and put it up,'” Cauley-Stein said about the Kings’ final possession. “Thankfully, it just came right to my hands.”
Teams Leading by 18+ Points in Final 5 Minutes – This Season
Losses 1 (Clippers)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 26, 2017
Just one day earlier, the Clippers looked to be getting their act together in a convincing 108-95 win over the Jazz. Jamal Crawford scored 14 points in the fourth quarter vs Utah, only to go scoreless (0-5) in the first half against Sacramento.
LA did have to play the second night of the back-to-back without J.J. Redick who injured his right ankle vs Utah.
“This is one of those games when I saw two 12:30 games, I don’t want that,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “But we couldn’t get it changed.”