SACRAMENTO -- The shorthanded Kings battled the Clippers, but fell 117-108 at Sleep Train Arena on Saturday night.
The Clippers (27-14) started the fourth quarter with a 5-point advantage and outscored Sacramento (16-24) 9-2 to take a 92-80 lead with 9:03 remaining in the game.
Sacramento cut the lead to five points at 104-99 on two Rudy Gay free throws with 3:26 remaining but the Kings never got closer.
The Kings were led by Jason Thompson, who scored 23 points and collected 22 rebounds. Thompson’s production represented his second double of the season and a career-high in rebounds.
Gay, who was questionable due to a sprained knee, scored 22 points off the bench while Darren Collison (17), Ben McLemore (14) and Derrick Williams (13) were also in double figures for Sacramento.
Blake Griffin scored a game-high 30 points while Matt Barnes, a Sacramento native, added 26 points to lead the Clippers.
J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford added 18 and 13 points respectively, while Chris Paul chipped in with 12 points in the Clippers winning effort.
The Kings and Clippers met in the second game of a back-to-back with both teams coming off of losses on Friday and a long injury list for Sacramento - most notably missing DeMarcus Cousins who was out after sustaining a right ankle sprain sustained in the loss to Miami.
Sacramento utilized their ninth starting lineup of the season and third consecutive different starting lineup in its last three games.
The Kings finish the six-game home stand with a 2-4 record and have dropped seven of their last 10 games including losing their last three straight contests.
The Clippers have now won seven of their last 10 games.
Without Cousins in the lineup, the Kings are now 2-10 and if one of the “big three” of Cousins, Gay and Collison are missing, Sacramento sports a 3-13 record.
In sharp contrast, with the “big three” in the lineup, the Kings are 13-11.
Barnes was hot early scoring 11 points in the first quarter which ended tied at 28. Usually light-scoring Thompson matched Barnes with 11 points for the Kings.
The Kings and Clippers were also tied at the half at 52 as Gay scored 12 points in the period while Barnes put another 11 points on the board to enter halftime with a game high 22 points.
The Clippers went on 15-2 run to take a 79-66 lead with 2:35 remaining in the third quarter, its largest lead of the night.
Sacramento bounced back outscoring the Clippers the remainder of the quarter 12-4 to trail 83-78 at the end of the third quarter setting the stage for the final 12 minutes of play.
Co-MVPs in Blake Griffin and Matt Barnes - who toiled locally at Del Campo High School - brought their A-game scoring 30 and 26 points, respectively.
Los Angeles began the fourth quarter outscoring the Kings 9-2 to take a 92-80 lead. The Kings did cut the lead to five points in the fourth quarter but couldn’t overcome the 12-point deficit.
Kings –- C DeMarcus Cousins, F Carl Landry (right wrist sprain), G Ramon Sessions (low back strain), and F Eric Moreland (left shoulder labral tear) were out. F Rudy Gay (left knee sprain) was questionable and F Omri Casspi and probable yet played. Casspi sustained an abrasion above his right eye and his return to the game was questionable.
Clippers -- None to report.
The Kings hit the road to play the Blazers in Portland on Monday before returning home to host the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.