SACRAMENTO (AP) —
Blake Griffin scored 33 points and Paul Pierce endeared himself to his new teammates by putting Los Angeles ahead for good with a late jumper in the Clippers’ 111-104 season-opening victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.
Chris Paul had 18 points and 11 assists, J.J. Redick scored 15 and the Clippers blew a 15-point lead before surviving for the win.
DeMarcus Cousins had 32 points and 13 rebounds in the Kings’ final season opener at Sleep Train Arena before moving to their new downtown home next season.
The Clippers led 89-76 when DeAndre Jordan was called for a questionable fifth foul. Cousins took advantage with a couple of scores inside, and then back-to-back 3-pointers from Marco Belinelli and Darren Collison cut Los Angeles’ lead to 92-88. Rudy Gay scored inside with just under 7 minutes left for the Kings’ first advantage.
Pierce gave the Clippers the lead for good with a fall-away jumper that made it 102-100 with 2:20 left.