SACRAMENTO -- Chris Paul had 24 points and 10 assists, and Blake Griffin added 18 points and 16 assists, and the Los Angeles Clippers held off a furious rally for a 110-101 victory over the SACRAMENTO Kings on Friday night.
The Clippers, playing for the second straight night and third time in four nights, were able to win their second straight despite blowing a 15-point third-quarter lead. Paul's 27-footer for a 3-pointer early vaulted Los Angeles ahead to stay after the Kings erased a 66-51 deficit and inched in front 92-90 with 6:43 to go in the final quarter. He then hit two free throws on his next possession.
Jamal Crawford finished with 18 points for the Clippers and made three 3-pointers, moving past Tim Hardaway into 15th place on the NBA's all-time list. J.J. Reddick had 13 points and Jared Dudley finished with 10 for Los Angeles.
Isaiah Thomas single-handedly kept the Kings (1-1) in the game, scoring 29 points on 9-for-13 shooting and making all three of his 3-pointers.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds for SACRAMENTO, his second double-double in as many contests. Matched up most often against DeAndre Jordan, Cousins won the individual battle by holding Jordan to eight points and eight rebounds.
The Clippers were playing for the second straight night and for the third time in four nights to start the season, but they appeared to be the fresher team in the opening half, shooting 47.5 percent from the field and holding SACRAMENTO to 38.1 percent to build a 54-45 halftime advantage.
NOTES: SACRAMENTO owns the NBA's longest current winning streak in home openers. Their 90-88 victory over Denver was their 13th straight season-opening home win, extending their NBA record. ... DeMarcus Cousins' 30-point night in SACRAMENTO's opener tied Rodney McCray for the third-biggest scoring output by a King in an opener. ... Guard Jamal Crawford tied Tim Hardaway for 16th on the all-time 3-pointer list when he made one in the second quarter. It was Crawford's 1,542nd. ... Chris Paul's 15-point, 11-assist, five-steal game against Golden State on Thursday made him only the second player in NBA history to record at least those totals in one game more than once. John Stockton did it six times for the Utah Jazz. Maurice Cheeks was the only other player to have consecutive games with those totals at least once. ... Kings coach Michael Malone said that with Greivis Vasquez and Isaiah Thomas expected to share significant minutes, guard Jimmer Fredette will not be part of the guard rotation in the immediate future. Fredette averaged 14 minutes in 69 games last season but did not play in the opener. ... The SACRAMENTO Bee reported that the Kings will not pick up Fredette's contract option at the end of the year, making the third-year guard a free agent at the end of the season.