Turkoglu has big game in Clippers' 116-105 win over Kings
Mar. 19, 2015
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The next time he visits Sacramento as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, Hedo Turkoglu might not have Vlade Divac buying him lunch.
Turkoglu made five 3-pointers and scored a season-high 19 points in only his second start this season, helping the Clippers defeat the slumping Kings 116-105 on Wednesday night.
Turkoglu got his day started by having lunch with his good friend and former Kings teammate Divac, now a Sacramento executive. But by the time he made his first shot, a 3-pointer in the game's opening minutes, Turkoglu had Divac hollering at him from his courtside seat.
"Vlade told me, 'No more making shots,'" Turkoglu said. "I told him, 'I'm wearing a Clippers uniform. I've got to make those shots!'"
Turkoglu played his first four NBA seasons in Sacramento with Divac as his mentor.
"Vlade is part of my family," Turkoglu said. "He's like a brother to me."
Starting for the injured Matt Barnes, Turkoglu certainly showed Clippers coach Doc Rivers he might deserve some court time during the playoffs. A 14-year veteran, Turkoglu made 7 of 12 shots, had two assists, two rebounds, and played most of his 32 minutes slowing down Kings forward Rudy Gay.
Chris Paul had 30 points and 11 assists and J.J. Redick made seven 3-pointers and had 27 points.
"Turk was amazing," Rivers said. "It was a throwback game for him. We've eased him through this season, but we're playing him more now. He's finding his rhythm."
The Clippers certainly had a great rhythm offensively in the fourth quarter when they hit eight 3-pointers to pull away from the Kings and win their second straight and fourth in six games.
The victory kept the Clippers tied for fifth place in the Western Conference with Dallas, which defeated Orlando.
Blake Griffin had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angles, which tied a season high, making 17 of 37 3-point attempts. It was the third straight game for Griffin, who missed 15 games following surgery to remove a staph infection in his right elbow, which still inhibits his range from the perimeter.
"Today, whether it was Hedo or J.J., they were getting open 3s and knocking them down," Kings rookie guard Nik Stauskas said. "Once they get that going, it's kind of tough to stop them. That's one thing that makes them one of the best teams in the league."
Gay scored 23 points for the Kings, who have dropped four straight and eight of nine. Andre Miller had 16 points, Stauskas had 13 and Jason Thompson added 12 and eight rebounds.
The Kings were at a disadvantage from the start, missing injured DeMarcus Cousins (right calf strain), the team's leading scorer and rebounder. The Kings are 2-13 when Cousins is sidelined.
Minus Cousins, the Kings were looking for Gay to have a larger impact offensively. Hounded by Turkoglu for much of the game, Gay shot 6 of 19 and missed all five 3-point attempts.
"Tonight, he (Turkoglu) looked like the defender that he was before," Kings coach George Karl said. "When he was at his prime, his defense was pretty first-class. I thought that he did a good job on Rudy tonight. And every open shot that Turkoglu got, he knew he was going to make."
After the Kings tied the score at 84 early in the fourth quarter, the Clippers went on a 17-6 run, Turkoglu had a pair of 3s and so did Redick, who turned the second into a four-point play and a 102-90 lead at the 5:30 mark.
"J.J. is one of the best shooters I've ever played with," Paul said. "He's a lights-out shooter."
Paul sparked the Clippers in the third quarter when they outscored the Kings 29-24. The crafty point guard made 6 of 7 perimeter shots, including a pair of 3s, and scored 14 points, giving Los Angeles an 80-73 lead heading into the fourth.
Redick made four 3s and had 17 first-half points, helping the Clippers to a 51-48 lead. ... The Clippers played without Barnes (sore right hamstring) and third-leading scorer Jamal Crawford, who missed his eighth straight game with a right calf contusion.
Kings: The Kings are 13-21 at home and have a 4-11 record with Karl as coach.
Clippers: Friday at home against Washington.
Kings: Host Charlotte on Friday.