Clipper Lapse Leads to Defeat : Pro basketball: After being outscored by 19 points in second quarter, they lose to Kings, 99-82.
Coach Bill Fitch was livid after the Clippers’ 99-82 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night.
“You’ve got to come to play every night,” Fitch screamed after his team was outscored 25-6 during a second-quarter lapse.
But the Clippers didn’t come to play, falling behind by 19 points and losing, before a sellout crowd of 17,317 at the Arco Arena.
It’s hard to determine who was worse, replacement officials Mike Bobiak and Allen Williams or the Clippers.
Bobiak and Williams called technical fouls on Clipper centers Brian Williams and Stanley Roberts and forward Rodney Rogers and King center Olden Polynice.
“I think those guys should get Academy Awards for acting like referees,” said Williams, who had difficulty finding his rhythm after drawing two fouls in the first four minutes of the game.
“What did I say to them?” Williams asked. “I told them, ‘I hope you have a good moonlighting job, because this gig is soon over.’ ”
Asked to assess the officials, King Coach Gary St. Jean said, “Have you got $1 million? You can pay my fine if I tell you what I really think. I can’t say anything. I’m not that rich.”
The Clippers seemed flat after Friday’s thrilling 112-106 come-from-behind victory in the season opener against the Phoenix Suns.
“We didn’t have a letdown,” Fitch said. “We wanted to win as badly as we did Friday, but we just didn’t play as well. Defensively, we were a step slow.”
The Clippers, who trailed, 53-40, at halftime, outscored the Kings, 27-17, in the third quarter to trail, 70-67, going into the final quarter as forward Loy Vaught, who had a team-high 20 points and 10 rebounds, scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds in the quarter.
“Give the Clippers credit,” St. Jean said. “It was a great comeback in the third period and I have a wealth of respect for the way they’re playing. When you’d mention the Clippers in years past, we all know in the NBA what was said. I think Bill Fitch has done a terrific job. I think they’re going to win a lot of ballgames. Frankly, I’m glad we’re only playing them four times instead of five.”
But all-star guard Mitch Richmond made three three-pointers and scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Kings outscored the Clippers, 29-15. With the Clippers trailing, 72-69, the Kings scored 10 consecutive points in a 4:40 spurt in the final quarter to take control.
Polynice, who threatened to beat up a Sacramento Bee columnist after the Kings’ 95-86 season-opening victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves last Friday, shifted his attention to the Clippers, scoring a game-high 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as the Kings avenged a 46-point exhibition loss to the Clippers last month.
Former UCLA guard Tyus Edney, the Kings’ second-round draft pick, scored as many points as Clipper starting guards Terry Dehere (seven) and Malik Sealy (eight), getting 15 points, six assists and four steals in 32 minutes as a reserve.
Edney, who made six of 10 shots, played twice as many minutes as starter Bobby Hurley, who had two points in 16 minutes, but missed both shots he took.
“I just wanted to come into the game and pick up the tempo a bit,” Edney said. “My shot felt good early and I got into a rhythm.”
The Clippers never got into a rhythm.
King center Olden Polynice apologized after threatening and grabbing Sacramento Bee columnist R.E. Graswich in the locker room following the Kings’ season-opening victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Polynice grabbed Graswich, who had questioned Polynice’s toughness in a column, and ripped his shirt before they were separated by King players. “I disagree with you, but it was way uncool what I did,” Polynice told Graswich in a short phone conversation. “It was unsatisfactory,” Graswich said. “I don’t think there was a lot of sincerity there. It sounded like he wrote down some notes. My big concern was his threat against my life.”