Clippers manhandle Kings 116-81
"We didn't really come out with any energy. And it showed," Cousins said. "We got off to a slow start. They came out to play and we didn't come ready to play."
Los Angeles led 58-34 at halftime — with no one scoring in double digits. The bench had 25 points in the half, including nine by Barnes.
The Clippers opened the game with a 17-6 run, led by Jordan's six points and four rebounds. Paul went to the bench after picking up his second foul with 5:15 left in the first quarter, but Bledsoe and the rest of the reserves held Sacramento in check — building the lead up to 46-24 by the time Paul reported back in with 6:25 left in the half. Bledsoe had 14 points and four assists.
"We have so much confidence in Eric Bledsoe," Barnes said. "Chris is one of the best, but Bled is on his way to being one of the best. So there's no real dropoff with the intensity out there."
Sacramento coach Keith Smart was well aware of the Clippers' depth. Four of the reserves played more than 20 minutes, including Lamar Odom, who had six points, five rebounds and five assists.
"They've got a lot of guys over there that can make up a lot of ground," Smart said. "So even if a guy gets two fouls early, like in Chris Paul's case, you have really three other point guards over there that can play and cover for him — guys who have been starters in this league.
"I mean, Jamal Crawford can carry a team by himself. Bledsoe's been playing very, very well, and he's being taught the right way by a collection of really top-line players over there. And then you've got Billups."
Del Negro sat his entire starting unit to begin the second quarter. Crawford, who had 17 points, gave the Clippers a 37-21 lead on a 3-pointer with 9:33 left in the half. It was his first basket of the game after starting out 0 for 4.
NOTES: A moment of silence was observed for Clippers public address announcer David Courtney, who died Thursday of a pulmonary embolism at age 56. Staples Center's game-night crew put together a photo montage in his memory and showed it on the video board, and a tape of Courtney's voice was used to introduce the Clippers' starting lineup one final time. ... Courtney also handled the p.a. duties for the Angels and the reigning NHL champion Kings, but was denied a chance to preside over the raising of the Stanley Cup banner to the Staples Center rafters because of hockey's lockout. ... Eric Smith, the Dodgers' p.a. announcer, has returned to his old job at the Clippers' courtside table for the rest of the season. ... Sacramento is 0-12 when trailing after three quarters. The Clippers are 8-0 when taking a lead into the fourth.