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Clippers-Kings Preview

Clippers-Kings Preview
The Los Angeles Clippers are in no shape to lose leading scorer Zach Randolph for long.

With Randolph expected to miss his second straight game, the struggling Clippers look to hand the Kings their seventh straight defeat as the Pacific Division's worst teams match up Tuesday night.

Randolph, averaging 23.1 points and 9.9 rebounds in 14 games since being acquired in a trade with New York on Nov. 21, is nursing a bruised left knee that may require some time to heal.

The veteran big man was injured against Toronto on Dec. 22, and did not play in the Clippers' 98-76 loss to Dallas on Sunday. Brian Skinner got the start in place of Randolph, but went scoreless with one rebound in nine minutes.

Losing Randolph for an extended period would be bad news for Los Angeles (8-21), averaging 78.7 points during a three-game skid. The Clippers also are without center Chris Kaman (left arch) and rookie guard Mike Taylor (broken right thumb).

Reserve guard Ricky Davis had been out with a sore left knee, and he was suspended for five games Monday for violating the NBA's drug program.

"We need our team to be 100 percent healthy to play at our highest level," said Los Angeles point guard Baron Davis, averaging 12.0 points on 27.0 percent shooting in the last three games. "We need to play with more intensity and put out a better vibe so that we start to click on the court. Every team goes through their ups and downs. We need to get on track and put forth a better consistent effort."

Los Angeles did get Marcus Camby back in the frontcourt after he missed a game due to his father's death. He had 16 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks.

But he isn't the scoring threat that Randolph is.

Sacramento (7-24) has gone 4-18 without Kevin Martin (ankle), who was averaging 20.8 points this season after leading the team in 2007-08 with 23.7 per game. There's no timetable for Martin's return, but the Kings could certainly use the type of scoring boost he would bring.

Sacramento has lost six straight since winning its first game under interim coach Kenny Natt, averaging 85.3 points during the skid while shooting 39.7 percent.

The ugliest of those losses came Sunday night, 108-63 to Boston.

It was the most lopsided defeat for Sacramento since losing 153-91 to Golden State on Nov. 2, 1991, and the worst home loss in franchise history. The Kings were held to 27.9 percent from the field, and the 19 shots they made were their fewest in a game during the shot-clock era.

"This is frustrating going through things like this," Sacramento guard Bobby Jackson said. "We can't keep making excuses."

The Kings' points and field goals made were the lowest totals in the NBA this season.

Sacramento, though, had a strong game on offense against Los Angeles on Nov. 12, shooting 52.5 percent in a 103-98 win.

Kings guard Francisco Garcia, who missed that game due to a strained right calf, left in the first half versus the Celtics after possibly aggravating the injury. He's listed as day-to-day.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 30, 2008


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