Preview: Clippers vs. Sacramento Kings

Chris Paul, DeMarcus Cousins

Chris Paul tries to steal the ball from Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins in February. 

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Clippers will play their regular-season opener against the Kings at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Sacramento.

Last season, the Clippers nearly made the Western Conference finals for the first time in their then-45-year franchise history.

After eliminating the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs, the Clippers took a 3-1 series lead over the Houston Rockets in the second round. The Clippers then lost three games in a row to become the ninth team in NBA history to blow a series after having that kind of advantage.

A successful off-season followed that epic collapse. The Clippers re-signed DeAndre Jordan, luring him back to the team he had played for his entire career after the then-free agent had verbally committed to playing for the Dallas Mavericks.


The Clippers also added nine new players to their roster, including 10-time All Star Paul Pierce, Lance Stephenson — who is likely to start at small forward Wednesday — Josh Smith and Wesley Johnson.

The team now has a much-improved bench to play alongside two-time sixth man of the year Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers, whom the Clippers also re-signed during the off-season.

The Kings missed the playoffs for the ninth straight year last season, but they will have a new look heading into this year.

They added Rajon Rondo, Marco Belinelli, Quincy Acy, James Anderson and Kosta Koufos. Willie Cauley-Stein, whom the Kings selected as the No. 6 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, is expected to start alongside center DeMarcus Cousins at power forward.


The Clippers won three of their four games against the Kings last season, and have gone 16-3 against them since Nov. 25, 2010.

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