SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings used a 38-18 blitzkrieg in the fourth quarter to run away to a 116-101 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers Tuesday night before an announced crowd of 13,563 at Sleep Train Arena.
The Clippers are locked in a three-way battle for Western Conference playoff seedings with the Memphis Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets. The Grizzlies (45-21) were off Tuesday night, but the Nuggets defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, 111-104, to improve to 47-22.
The Clippers (46-22) dropped to the fifth-best record in the Conference, but would be the Conference's second rated team because it likely will with the Pacific Division.
The Kings (24-44) were led in scoring by reserve guards Marcus Thornton (25) and Toney Douglas (19). Douglas scored 17 of his points in the fourth quarter.
The Clippers got just 38 points off their bench, led by Jamal Crawford. They were out scored off the bench, 62-38.
The teams exchanged grabs, bangs and leads throughout the contest. The Clippers dominated each of the two previous meetings and in their own intimidating way, threatened to run off to big leads on a couple of occasions.
The Kings used a 13-3 run to open the fourth quarter to take a 91-86 lead midway through the period. But the Clippers answered with a quick run of their own fueled by a couple of Kings turnovers to tie the game at 96-96.
Then Kings coach Keith Smart began fouling Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, a 41 percent free-throw shooter. Jordan missed three of four attempts and subsequently was replaced on the floor by Caron Butler.
The Kings took off from that point.
NOTES: Clippers backup point guard Eric Bledsoe missed his fourth straight game with a left calf injury. ... Entering play Tuesday, the Clippers led the league in steals per game at 9.73. ... Since the All-Star break, the Kings were ranked first in points per game at 110.2. ... The Kings entered the game having committed just 11 turnovers in the previous two games. It was also the first time they had six of fewer turnovers in consecutive games. ... Sacramento coach Keith Smart on troubled center DeMarcus Cousins: "He's a good young man. We have a lot of talks. It's when the conversation starts to boil. I can't get the lid on the pot fast enough sometimes. He's a very, very competitive person. Obviously, it's well-documented that he's trying to grow out of some issues he has in terms of what he does at times and what he shouldn't do. Hopefully, that day comes when we look back and say, 'We had to go through all of this to get to this point.'"