Skinner's season high leads Clippers over Kings

LOS ANGELES (AP) " Both the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers will have a chance to land the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

The Kings played like they wanted it more.

Brian Skinner scored a season-high 21 points, Eric Gordon added 20, and the Clippers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 109-78 victory over the Kings on Friday night.

"Start to finish we played a strong game tonight," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We came out, moved the ball and got our guys the open shots. It's really good to have Marcus (Camby) and Chris (Kaman) back in the lineup. Brian has put some big games together for us lately."

Baron Davis had 16 points and Kaman chipped in 14 points and 13 rebounds in his return to the lineup as the Clippers (19-60) won for just the second time in 11 games in a matchup between two lottery-bound teams hoping to land the first overall pick in the NBA draft.

The Kings' seventh straight loss dropped their NBA-worst record to 16-63, putting them in a better position to take Blake Griffin, the nation's top college player who's considered the likely top pick in June.

"This game was an absolute embarrassment and I just told the players that," Sacramento interim coach Kenny Natt said. "I was embarrassed from the standpoint of our organization and everything we stand for. I was embarrassed at the way we went out and did not play tonight and it will not continue."

Kaman said he didn't believe the Kings lost intentionally to improve their chances in the draft lottery.

"It's hard for you to tell your players to go out there and don't play hard," he said. "Who's going to do that? I don't know what's going on in their organization there. But if you can get a guy like Blake Griffin as the No. 1 pick, I mean, that's going to be pretty good for any organization.

"I can guarantee that they weren't trying to lose."

Normally a reserve, Skinner nearly tied his career-best point total in the first half. The well-traveled 11-year veteran out of Baylor made six of nine shots and scored 17 points, having no trouble working against the Kings' front line of Andres Nocioni, Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes.

When the 6-foot-9 forward made a short left-handed jumper with 9:24 left in the third quarter, Skinner had surpassed his season high of 18 points set on Jan. 17 against Milwaukee. Skinner averages 3.9 points and 3.9 rebounds.

The outcome had been long decided by then. Los Angeles never trailed in the game, building as much as a 34-point advantage twice " its biggest edge of the season. It was Los Angeles' only win against Sacramento in four meetings this season.

Playing without leading scorer Kevin Martin, Sacramento got 18 points from point guard Beno Udrih. Nocioni added 11 points and nine rebounds as the Kings shot 32.6 percent from the field.

Gordon made both of his 3-point shots in the first quarter and four of six overall for 12 points. Skinner provided the unexpected lift with 11 points, making four free throws in an early 11-0 run that made it 24-8.

Gordon's 3-pointer put Los Angeles up by 20 points. By the time Skinner finished the quarter with a 12-foot jumper, the Clippers were up 35-13 and in complete control. Los Angeles shot 62 percent from the field in the opening period.

The Clippers didn't have leading scorer Zach Randolph, who served the second of his two-game team suspension in light of his DUI arrest early Monday morning. But they got back Kaman, who sat out the last three games because of flu-like symptoms, and center Camby, who grabbed 11 rebounds after missing five games with a sprained ankle.

Notes: If the Kings finish with the worst record, they will have a 25 percent chance of getting the first overall pick in the draft lottery. The Clippers have the third-worst record and would have a 15.6 percent chance if they hold that spot. ... Martin sat out his fifth straight game because of a sprained left ankle. Natt is hopeful that he'll return for Sunday's home finale against San Antonio. "I wouldn't say that he's any closer, but there's still a chance that he'll play in our next game," Natt said. "I'm not counting that out." ... Kaman picked up a technical foul for arguing an offensive foul call early in the second quarter.


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