Not this time. The Sacramento Kings have made a habit of falling behind huge early and then coming back for dramatic wins. The Los Angeles Clippers wanted no part of that trend.
LA jumped on the Kings early at Staples Center and with their 3-ball drawing iron, Sacramento had no chance. The Kings were out-shot and out-worked early and it cost them a chance at a win.
The reserves made a wild late run to make it close in the fourth, but the Clippers found a way to sneak away with a 127-118 victory.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings lost their seventh straight to the Clippers and dropped to 18-16 on the season.
Soft in the Middle
Without a natural shot blocker or someone willing to swipe at a ball in the paint, the Kings are vulnerable. Boban Marjanovic set up a campfire in the post, but it was more than just the 7-foot-3 center that did damage.
The Clippers attacked the lane against the Kings, which opened up the perimeter. You can't solely blame the bigs for post penetration, but someone needs to step up and play goalie.
Trouble with the Triple
The Kings couldn't find their range in the first half, shooting just 1-of-13 from behind the arc in the first 24 minutes of the game.
Buddy Hield failed to make a 3-pointer for only the second time this season. Los Angeles played solid defense, but the Kings missed a lot of open looks.
Call it a Christmas hangover or maybe just an off-night, but the Kings' offense screeched to a halt without the triple.
Sacramento finished 10-of-30 from behind the arc, but the first half did them in.
Montrezl Harrell was available for the taking in the offseason and the Clippers had little competition for his services. He inked a two-year, $12 million deal to remain in LA and he's having a heck of a season.
The 24-year-old big tormented the Kings. He outhustled and outmuscled Sacramento to come away with 22 points, nine rebounds and four blocks in 27 minutes of action.
The Kings don't have a player like Harrell on their roster. While they have a bevy of bigs, grabbing a budget hustle player would have added a different element to this team.