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Clippers fall to Kings in second-highest scoring game in NBA history

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, left, shoots as Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis, center, and forward Harrison Barnes defend during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Clippers’ Paul George reacts to a foul from the Sacramento Kings’ Domantas Sabonis during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Sacramento Kings guard Terence Davis shoots as Clippers forward Nicolas Batum, left, defends and guard Eric Gordon, right, watches during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers guard Russell Westbrook gets to the basket for a layup during the first half of their game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk, left, shoots as Clippers forward Paul George defends during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers forward Paul George, right, shoots as Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray defends during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard looks to pass the ball as the Sacramento Kings’ Harrison Barnes, left, De’Aaron Fox (5) and Kevin Huerter defend during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk, left, shoots as Clippers center Mason Plumlee defends during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk, right, shoots as Clippers center Mason Plumlee defends during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers forward Norman Powell, right, shoots as Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Huerter defends during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard makes a buzzer-beating shot between the Sacramento Kings’ Davion Mitchell, left, and Trey Lyles at the end of the first quarter on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes, center, shoots as Clippers forward Nicolas Batum, left, and forward Kawhi Leonard defend during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Clippers’ Paul George drives to the basket as the Sacramento Kings’ Kevin Huerter defends during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Clippers guard Russell Westbrook scores on a layup as the Sacramento Kings’ Chimezie Metu, left, and De’Aaron Fox defend during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Clippers guard Russell Westbrook walks down court during the first half of their game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk, center, shoots as Clippers guard Russell Westbrook, left, and center Mason Plumlee defend during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk (0) celebrates along with forward Domantas Sabonis (10) after he scored as Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard walks between them during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard attempts a layup in front of the Sacramento Kings’ Keegan Murray, left, and Davion Mitchell and Domantas Sabonis, far right, during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis, center, shoots as Clippers center Mason Plumlee, left, and guard Russell Westbrook defend during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Clippers’ Norman Powell is fouled on his shot by the Sacramento Kings’ Terence Davis, right, as the Kings’ De’Aaron Fox looks on during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Clippers guard Russell Westbrook, right, drives by Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers center Mason Plumlee, left, and Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis reach for a rebound during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Clippers’ Paul George reacts as he is fouled by the Sacramento Kings’ Kevin Huerter as the Kings’ Keegan Murray looks on during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Clippers forward Paul George, left, grabs a rebound away from Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue reacts between Kawhi Leonard, left, and Nicolas Batum during the first half of their game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Clippers guard Russell Westbrook handles the ball as the Sacramento Kings’ Davion Mitchell defends during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Clippers center Mason Plumlee, left, reaches to try to take a rebound away from the Sacramento Kings’ Domantas Sabonis during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard calls out to his teammates as he brings the ball up the court during the first half of their game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings’ Trey Lyles scores on a layup past the Clippers’ Nicolas Batum during their double-overtime game on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard drives as the Sacramento Kings’ Kevin Huerter defends during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings’ Domantas Sabonis scores in front of the Clippers’ Norman Powell during their double-overtime game on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Clippers forward Paul George, left, and Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox go after a loose ball during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers forward Paul George, top, and Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox go after a loose ball during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, center, loses his shoe as he takes a loose ball away from Clippers forward Paul George, right, during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, left, celebrates after scoring as Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. stands in the background during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Sacramento Kings’ Malik Monk looks to pass as the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, left, and Norman Powell defend during their double-overtime game on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Clippers guard Russell Westbrook celebrates as his team takes the lead during their 176-175 double-overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. The lead changed hands several times as the teams played the second-highest scoring game in NBA history. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings’ Malik Monk makes a 3-point shot between the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, left, and Russell Westbrook to tie the score with 1.1 seconds left in regulation on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. Monk scored a career-high 45 points and the Kings won, 176-175, in double-overtime. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk, center, shoots and makes a 3-point shot to tie the score with 1.1 second left in regulation as Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, left, and guard Russell Westbrook defend during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. Monk scored a career-high 45 points as the Kings prevailed, 176-175, in double overtime. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk, left, celebrates after scoring as guard De’Aaron Fox stands by during the second half of their game against the Clippers on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis, right, shoots as Clippers center Mason Plumlee defends during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers guard Russell Westbrook, right, celebrates after scoring as Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes runs behind during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers guard Russell Westbrook celebrates after hitting a 3-point shot during their double-overtime game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Sacramento Kings forward Trey Lyles, left, shoots as Clippers forward Nicolas Batum defends during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Sacramento Kings’ Malik Monk drives to the basket as the Clippers’ Paul George defends during their double-overtime game on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings’ Malik Monk celebrates after hitting a big shot during their double-overtime victory over the Clippers on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Sacramento Kings guard Terence Davis, center, shoots as Clippers forward Paul George, left, and forward Nicolas Batum defend during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Sacramento Kings’ De’Aaron Fox drives to the basket in front of the Clippers’ Nicolas Batum (33) and Kawhi Leonard, right, as the Kings’ Harrison Barnes looks on during their double-overtime game on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Clippers’ Paul George saves a ball in front of the Sacramento Kings’ Malik Monk during their double-overtime game on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings’ Malik Monk reacts after a foul call during their double-overtime game against the Clippers on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox drives to the basket as the Clippers’ Norman Powell defends during their double-overtime game on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings’ De’Aaron Fox drives to the basket as the Clippers’ Terance Mann defends during their double-overtime game on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings’ De’Aaron Fox, center, celebrates his go-ahead basket with Malik Monk, left, during the final minute of their 176-175 double-overtime victory over the Clippers on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk, center, celebrates as time runs out in double overtime on his team’s 176-175 win as Clippers forward Norman Powell, left, and guard Eric Gordon show their frustration on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Sacramento Kings coach Mike Brown, left, celebrates with Malik Monk (0) and De’Aaron Fox, right, after their 176-175 double-overtime victory over the Clippers on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Clippers guard Russell Westbrook smiles on the bench during warm-ups before making his Clippers debut in their game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES — This game had all the vibes of a playoff contest with a packed arena, full of fans snapping cell phone pictures of the newest Clippers player in his first game and high expectations of a victory.

And Russell Westbrook didn’t disappoint in his debut in a 176-175 double-overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena – the second-highest scoring game in NBA history. It was his first game since being traded by the Lakers two weeks ago and then signing with the Clippers earlier this week.

After receiving an enthusiastic standing ovation in the same arena where he previously had been booed, the point guard scored the Clippers’ first two points on free throws. He then dished off passes to Marcus Morris Sr. and Mason Plumlee. The Westbrook era had begun, not with a victory but with a wild, entertaining game that got away from the Clippers down the stretch.

After the Clippers led by as many as 14 points with 4:28 left in regulation, the hosts and the Kings engaged in a show of one-upmanship in two overtime periods. Kawhi Leonard finished with a season-high 44 points (one short of tying his career high) for the Clippers, but the Kings took advantage of 25 Clipper turnovers and came up with key baskets from Malik Monk (career-high 45 points) and De’Aaron Fox (42) in the final seconds.

Coach Tyronn Lue said the turnovers were the Clippers’ downfall when they still had a double-digit lead in regulation.

“I think we had three in a row, live ball turnovers, which allowed them to get out and get six easy points without having to work for it,” Lue said. “When you have 25 turnovers off 42 points, it’s tough to try to win that game.”

The Clippers had a 175-169 advantage with 1:57 remaining in the second overtime before the Kings (34-25) scored the final seven points, including Fox’s jumper with 36.5 seconds remaining. The Clippers (33-29) had the final shot, but Nicolas Batum missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Westbrook, who started, figured in both overtime periods, logging two baskets and two assists and finished with 17 points, 14 assists and five rebounds (and seven turnovers) in 39 minutes before fouling out with 1:49 remaining in the second overtime. His 14 assists matched Andre Miller’s 2002 effort for the most by a player in his Clippers debut.

“It was great just to get back on the floor,” Westbrook said. “Just obviously you want to win, that’s the most important part. I’ll watch the film, get ready to go on Sunday.”

After a tumultuous season and a half as a Laker, he appreciated the warm reception.

“It’s a blessing, just the excitement in the building,” Westbrook said. “The enthusiasm from fans and just the support that they have, not just for me, but for the overall team was great and hopefully we can keep that going as the season goes along. I’ll do my part by playing as hard as I can, when given an opportunity.”

Lue had said a day earlier that he just wanted “Russ to be Russ” and this looked a lot like the Russ of a few years ago, not recent history. He passed the ball, played defense, pushed the pace and took shots when it made sense.

“Whatever I need to do, he needs to do, the team needs to do to win, that is what we have to do,” Lue said. “And he is on board with that.”

As a bonus, the fans got to see Mason Plumlee make the most of his first start and second game as a Clipper. The 7-foot center, who was filling in for Ivica Zubac (knee), was omnipresent on the court – his long arms grabbing rebounds, disrupting shots, scrambling for loose balls all the while adding eight points and nine rebounds.

But the bulk of the night belonged to Leonard, who posted 30-plus points for the eighth time in his past 17 games. He shot 16 for 22 from the field (6 for 9 from 3-point range) and went 6 for 6 from the free-throw line in 46 minutes. His 21 points in the third quarter tied his career-high for most points in a quarter.

“I thought he did a great job getting to a spot with the 3-point shots and attacking the basket,” Lue said of Leonard.

Paul George contributed 34 points and 10 rebounds in 41 minutes and Norman Powell added 24 points.

George passed Dirk Nowitzki and moved into 15th place on the NBA’s all-time 3-point field goal list with his first long-range shot in the first quarter, and added four more before the game was over.

Leonard’s performance was overshadowed by Monk and Fox, who also had 12 assists and five steals and became just the 12th player since 1973-74 with 40 points, 10 assists and five steals in a game.

The Clippers fed off the crowd’s energy early to keep pace with the Kings, who have the best road record in the Western Conference. The first half was a shootout, with both teams shooting near the 60% mark in a close game. The half ended with the Clippers holding an 80-76 lead.

The game continued to be a high-scoring back-and-forth affair with the crowd cheering every Clippers basket and there were many. Their 26 3-pointers were a season-high and they shot 60.2% from the field. The Kings, who had four other players score in double figures, shot 58.6% overall and made 18 3-pointers.

But the momentum shifted in the final two minutes of regulation. The Clippers, who had a 145-131 advantage with 4:25 left, found their lead trimmed to 147-140 when Fox stole the ball from George and scored. Keegan Murray followed by intercepting a bad pass from George to score a layup and trim the lead to 147-142.

Powell was called for an offensive foul, leading to layups by Fox and Domantas Sabonis to cap a 10-0 Sacramento run that left the Clippers clinging to a one-point lead at 147-146 with 1:22 left.

After the teams traded free throws, Westbrook scored on a short jumper to give the Clippers a 151-148 lead. The Kings followed with a layup by Fox before George hit two free throws with 8.5 seconds left.

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The game headed to the first overtime after Monk’s 3-pointer tied it at 153 with 1.1 seconds left.

The Clippers had a 162-156 lead with 3:04 remaining in the first overtime before the Kings scored six straight to even it. Monk hit a pair of free throws with 20.4 seconds left to tie it at 164. The Clippers had a chance to win it, but Leonard was unable to convert a tip-in at the buzzer.

“I thought it was a great game, especially for the fans,” Lue said. “Crazy game – a lot of momentum shifts, but we did some good things and just defensively, I just thought we had a lot of breakdowns and the pace they play at, they put you in some tough positions with Fox being the head of the snake.”

Kings coach Brown agreed the game provided a little bit of everything.

“From a fan’s standpoint, I can see how this game would have been a lot of fun to watch,” Brown said. “There was unbelievable shot-making and great defense. There was high-level talent that was on display. Kudos to the players.”

RECORD-CHASING

Detroit beat Denver, 186-184, in triple overtime on Dec. 13, 1983, in the highest-scoring NBA game. This was only the second time in the NBA’s 76-year history that both teams have scored at least 170 points. A team has scored 170 points in a regular-season game only seven times. … The teams combined for 44 3-pointers, tied for the most in a game in NBA history. Both teams also shot at least 58% from the field and were 80% or better from the foul line.

GAME OF THE YEAR CONTENDER.

Re-live every WILD moment from down the stretch of the 2nd highest scoring game in NBA history

Kings outlast the Clippers in 2OT, 176-175. pic.twitter.com/MiU7A8lViT

— NBA (@NBA) February 25, 2023

17 points
5 rebounds
14 assists

Russ put in work as the Clippers fought a wild 2OT battle with the Kings on his debut pic.twitter.com/PJTuNxHM1x

— NBA (@NBA) February 25, 2023

Clippers stars showed out in their WILD 2OT battle with the Kings tonight

Kawhi: 44 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 6 3PM, 73% FG
PG: 34 PTS, 10 REB, 5 AST, 5 3PM pic.twitter.com/MaE6RxfxJw

— NBA (@NBA) February 25, 2023

De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk BALLED OUT tonight in the Kings 176-175 2OT win

Monk: 45 PTS, 6 AST, 6 3PM
Fox: 42 PTS, 5 REB, 12 AST, 5 STL

It’s the first time in Kings franchise history that 2 players have scored 40+ in the same game pic.twitter.com/ItKLnu4UES

— NBA (@NBA) February 25, 2023

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