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Clippers hold off Kings 116-109 to improve playoff position

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Los Angeles Clippers finally gained some ground in the crowded Western Conference playoff race, although coach Doc Rivers knows it's still too early to make much of it.

If nothing else, Rivers realizes his squad has an important tiebreaker against Sacramento after dealing a serious blow to the Kings' bid at ending the NBA's longest active playoff drought.

Landry Shamet scored eight of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, Lou Williams made two free throws with 7.9 seconds left and the Clippers held off the Kings 116-109 on Friday night.

Danilo Gallinari had 19 points and nine rebounds, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 15 and Ivica Zubac added 10 points and 10 rebounds to help the Clippers complete a season sweep of the Kings in a game that was critical for both teams' postseason hopes.

''This was an important game for sure,'' Shamet said. ''You pay attention to the playoff standings, where teams are. You don't want to look too far ahead but they're right with us. Definitely the playoff race adds motivation.''

Los Angeles moved a half-game ahead of San Antonio for seventh place in the West. Sacramento, which has lost four of five since the All-Star break, is two games behind the Spurs for the final postseason spot in the conference.

''Our guys responded to their runs,'' Rivers said. ''They had the lead at halftime and guys just kept playing. They played the game like they were going to win the game. That was on their mind. They didn't know how we were going to win but they wanted to win and we played like that.''

It wasn't easy.

The Kings trimmed a 13-point deficit to 110-107 with 1:16 remaining following back-to-back dunks from Harrison Barnes and Cauley-Stein.

Williams made a short jumper then added two free throws after De'Aaron Fox scored on a layup. Montrezl Harrell added a pair of free throws with 1.5 seconds left.

The Clippers have won nine straight against the Kings, including all four matchups this season. That gives Los Angeles a critical advantage should the teams finish the regular season in a tie.

Shamet thought the playoff atmosphere of this game will help the Clippers prepare for the stretch run.

''You don't ever want to be comfortable,'' he said. ''If you can build that mentality now, especially at the end of the season going into the playoffs and then you already have it at that point, it's definitely an advantage.''

Buddy Hield had 23 points for Sacramento. Fox added 12 points and 12 assists, and Willie Cauley-Stein had 16 points and 12 rebounds.

''They have been a tough team for us and a tough matchup for us all year,'' Kings coach Dave Joerger said. ''They got a lot of loose balls and it seems like we didn't make a lot of shots. They just made more plays.''

Neither team gained much of an advantage during a back-and-forth first half. The Clippers led by 10 midway through the first quarter but Harry Giles made back-to-back shots and Hield added three free throws to put the Kings ahead 56-52 at halftime.

TIP-INS

Clippers: Los Angeles grabbed a season-high 58 rebounds and improved to 27-5 when beating opponents on the boards. . The Clippers had seven players score in double figures. . Zubac's double-double was his fifth of the season. ... Wilson Chandler sat out his ninth game with a quad injury.

Kings: Giles had 15 points off the bench on 7-of-13 shooting. ... Rookie forward Marvin Bagley III will be sidelined indefinitely with a left knee strain sustained during Wednesday's 141-140 loss to Milwaukee. Bagley, the second pick in last year's draft, underwent an MRI that was negative. He will be re-evaluated within the next two weeks.

STREAKING IN SACRAMENTO

The Clippers have won 13 straight games in Sacramento dating to 2013, a franchise record for most consecutive road wins against one team.

LOU TIME

Williams scored 17 points in 28 minutes, 10 coming in the fourth quarter. Williams led the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring last season and is second this season behind Houston star James Harden. ''Fourth-quarter Lou, that's basically what he was tonight,'' Rivers said. ''He didn't have his rhythm but he found it when we needed it at the end of the game.''

UP NEXT

Clippers: Host the New York Knicks on Sunday.

Kings: Host the New York Knicks on Monday.

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Key Players
L. Williams
23 SG
D. Fox
5 PG
31.6 Min. Per Game 31.6
17.3 Pts. Per Game 17.3
7.2 Ast. Per Game 7.2
3.7 Reb. Per Game 3.7
42.0 Field Goal % 45.8
41.9 Three Point % 45.6
88.8 Free Throw % 72.7
+ 1 Montrezl Harrell made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:01
+ 1 Montrezl Harrell made 1st of 2 free throws 0:01
  Bogdan Bogdanovic missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:04
  Full timeout called 0:07
+ 1 Lou Williams made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:07
  Personal foul on Buddy Hield 0:07
  Full timeout called 0:09
  Offensive foul on Harrison Barnes 0:09
  Offensive foul on Harrison Barnes 0:09
  Offensive rebound by Montrezl Harrell 0:11
  Lou Williams missed jump shot 0:16
Team Stats
Points 116 109
Field Goals 40-92 (43.5%) 41-93 (44.1%)
3-Pointers 12-31 (38.7%) 6-21 (28.6%)
Free Throws 24-33 (72.7%) 21-25 (84.0%)
Total Rebounds 65 52
Offensive 16 8
Defensive 42 38
Team 7 6
Assists 19 27
Steals 4 6
Blocks 6 8
Turnovers 11 8
Fouls 23 25
Technicals 0 0
19 PTS, 9 REB, 3 AST
12 PTS, 5 REB, 12 AST
1234T
away team logo Clippers 35-29 26263529116
home team logo Kings 31-31 23332627109
Team Stats
away team logo Clippers 35-29 114.7 PPG 40.2 RPG 25.3 APG
home team logo Kings 31-31 PPG RPG APG
Key Players
L. Shamet PG 7.7 PPG 2.0 RPG 1.7 APG 34.2 FG%
B. Hield SG PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
L. Shamet PG 20 PTS 4 REB 2 AST
B. Hield SG 23 PTS 7 REB 3 AST
43.5 FG% 44.1
38.7 3PT FG% 28.6
72.7 FT% 84.0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
L. Shamet 20 4 2 6/12 5/10 3/3 2 32 0 1 0 0 4 +22 29
D. Gallinari 19 9 3 5/12 1/5 8/9 3 29 0 0 1 1 8 +13 33
S. Gilgeous-Alexander 15 5 1 6/13 3/3 0/0 4 32 2 0 1 1 4 0 23
P. Beverley 12 7 3 5/8 2/3 0/0 5 31 0 1 2 2 5 +10 24
I. Zubac 10 10 2 4/9 0/0 2/4 0 18 0 2 0 4 6 +15 26
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
L. Shamet 20 4 2 6/12 5/10 3/3 2 32 0 1 0 0 4 +22 29
D. Gallinari 19 9 3 5/12 1/5 8/9 3 29 0 0 1 1 8 +13 33
S. Gilgeous-Alexander 15 5 1 6/13 3/3 0/0 4 32 2 0 1 1 4 0 23
P. Beverley 12 7 3 5/8 2/3 0/0 5 31 0 1 2 2 5 +10 24
I. Zubac 10 10 2 4/9 0/0 2/4 0 18 0 2 0 4 6 +15 26
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
L. Williams 17 3 4 6/17 0/5 5/9 1 28 1 0 2 1 2 -6 27
M. Harrell 15 8 1 5/13 0/1 5/6 3 29 1 1 3 4 4 -10 24
J. Green 8 11 0 3/7 1/3 1/2 2 19 0 1 1 3 8 -2 19
G. Temple 0 1 3 0/1 0/1 0/0 2 14 0 0 0 0 1 -4 7
T. Wallace 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 -2 -1
S. Thornwell 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0
W. Chandler - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Mbah a Moute - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Motley - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Delgado - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Robinson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 116 58 19 40/92 12/31 24/33 23 235 4 6 11 16 42 +35 211
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
B. Hield 23 7 3 6/19 3/8 8/8 6 35 1 0 2 3 4 -13 35
W. Cauley-Stein 16 12 1 7/11 0/0 2/4 2 31 0 4 1 2 10 -12 33
H. Barnes 15 2 4 5/10 1/2 4/4 4 37 0 0 2 0 2 -18 23
D. Fox 12 5 12 5/9 0/1 2/3 3 29 1 0 1 0 5 -2 41
B. Bogdanovic 9 6 2 3/15 1/4 2/2 1 35 1 0 1 1 5 -13 19
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
B. Hield 23 7 3 6/19 3/8 8/8 6 35 1 0 2 3 4 -13 35
W. Cauley-Stein 16 12 1 7/11 0/0 2/4 2 31 0 4 1 2 10 -12 33
H. Barnes 15 2 4 5/10 1/2 4/4 4 37 0 0 2 0 2 -18 23
D. Fox 12 5 12 5/9 0/1 2/3 3 29 1 0 1 0 5 -2 41
B. Bogdanovic 9 6 2 3/15 1/4 2/2 1 35 1 0 1 1 5 -13 19
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
H. Giles 15 5 2 7/13 0/0 1/2 1 16 1 0 1 1 4 +5 24
C. Brewer 8 2 3 4/5 0/1 0/0 3 18 1 0 0 1 1 +4 17
N. Bjelica 5 3 0 2/4 1/3 0/0 2 13 0 3 0 0 3 +9 11
A. Burks 4 3 0 2/4 0/2 0/0 2 13 1 1 0 0 3 +9 9
Y. Ferrell 2 1 0 0/3 0/0 2/2 1 8 0 0 0 0 1 -4 3
K. Koufos - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
F. Mason III - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Swanigan - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Gabriel - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Bagley III - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 109 46 27 41/93 6/21 21/25 25 235 6 8 8 8 38 -35 215