LOS ANGELES -- After holding his first victorious postgame press conference as Clippers interim coach, Kim Hughes was handed a bottle of champagne by broadcaster Ralph Lawler. Through no fault of his own, the bubbly had aged an extra two weeks.
Los Angeles lost its first five games after general manager Mike Dunleavy gave up his dual role as coach to Hughes, his longtime assistant. Hughes coached the Clippers to a 103-94 win in New York on Feb. 4, 2008, while filling in for a flu-ridden Dunleavy, but that game is credited to Dunleavy's record. Hughes gave the ball from that game to his father.
"I may keep this one," Hughes said. "I may be selfish. I don't like to be selfish, but tonight I think I will be. I don't really think or this win it as mine, though. Players win games. I'm just happy for the guys because they put in hard work in practice and I can see development with it. Clearly, it's a better day for us."
Chris Kaman had 22 points and 16 rebounds. Newly acquired Steve Blake added 11 points and 12 assists for the Clippers, who won despite committing 24 turnovers that were converted into 30 points. It was the third straight game in which they had 20 or more turnovers, and the fourth time since Hughes took over.
"I was very pleased with the overall effort, except for the dreaded turnovers -- which is awful," Hughes said. "A lot of them were unforced, and we've got to stop it. We're a work in progress. I mean, we don't know each other yet at all. Of course, it's a different chemistry we're trying to find, but a lot of it is us trying to do too much."
Baron Davis missed his second straight game because of a sore lower back. Drew Gooden, acquired by the Clippers on Thursday from Washington in a three-team trade that sent Al Thornton to Washington and Sebastian Telfair to the Cavaliers, told Hughes he wouldn't be ready to make his debut until Monday night when the Clips host Charlotte.
Coming off their most lopsided defeat of the season, a 32-point drubbing at Golden State on Wednesday night, the Kings lost for the ninth time in 11 games. They have won only one of 18 road games against Western Conference opponents this season -- a 104-99 decision against Utah on Nov. 7.
Kings guard Tyreke Evans, who came in leading all rookies with a 20.2 scoring average, had 21 in a matchup of also-rans whose rosters were much different before Thursday's trading deadline. Carl Landry had 10 points and eight rebounds in his Kings debut, after joining them along with Joey Dorsey in a trade that sent Kevin Martin and Hilton Armstrong to Houston.
Sacramento coach Paul Westphal used his 23rd different starting lineup -- giving Landry his second start in 164 NBA regular-season games.
"I had some good looks, but traveled a couple of times -- something I don't usually do," Landry said. "I was just thinking a little too much out there. It was just an off-night, but I don't think the system had anything to do with it. It's only going to get better. There's nowhere to go but up."
The Kings got as close as six with 10:39 remaining, on a 3-pointer by Andres Nocioni. But the Clippers responded with a 18-6 run that gave them a 95-77 cushion with 4:28 to play. Gordon helped fuel the rally with three three-point plays and a 3-point basket.
"I just wanted to win this game," Gordon said. "We had been up the entire game and we needed to pull this one out. We needed to make big shots and smart plays. When you come off a losing streak and finally get a win, it's definitely a relief."
The Clippers are Gooden's eighth team in eight NBA seasons -- not counting the Wizards, who had him for five days before sending him packing again. ... This was the third time in the last three years that Gooden, the fourth overall pick in the 2002 draft, has changed teams around the trade deadline. He was dealt by Sacramento to San Antonio last season after a failed attempt to buy out his contract. "I probably know every playbook in the league now, so they'll probably come to me for some scouting reports," Gooden said, joking. "Once this team and the fans see me play out there, the first thing they'll be saying is: `Why does this guy keep getting traded?' But it's the nature of the business, and I've kind of been a victim of that. You talk to Dallas and other teams, and they didn't want to give me up -- but it was a business move to make the team better for them. And I totally understand that."
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