Struggling on the road, the Los Angeles Clippers can't afford to not have their All-Star center on the court. The Sacramento Kings also know what it's like to play without their big man.
One game after being ejected, Chris Kaman tries to help the Clippers win for the third time in 19 road contests Sunday night against Spencer Hawes and the Kings.
Kaman was whistled for two technical fouls 20 seconds into the second half to get ejected for the first time in his career in Friday night's 125-112 loss at Phoenix.
Los Angeles (24-34) had its three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 7-22 away from home.
"I told Chris I thought he let the team down and crossed the line with what he said to the referee," coach Kim Hughes said. "He wasn't getting calls and I agree with him, but it's not going to do him any good what he said to the official. He can't put the team in a position like that. He's too valuable to be thrown out. It was just a bad basketball play."
Kaman leads the Clippers with averages of 19.6 points and 9.2 rebounds. He had four consecutive double-doubles before leaving Friday's game with 12 points and five boards.
Eric Gordon, second on Los Angeles with 17.3 points per game, had 25 on Friday. The second-year guard scored 30 in a 99-89 home win over Sacramento (19-39) last Saturday and averages 24.7 points in three meetings.
Kaman also played a key role against Sacramento last week, scoring 22 points and pulling down 16 rebounds.
The Clippers have lost their last three visits to Arco Arena, with Kaman missing each game due to injuries.
The Kings, 14-14 at home, are trying to build on Friday's 103-99 win over Utah, ending a five-game losing streak by overcoming some of their own disciplinary problems.
Hawes criticized coach Paul Westphal's rotation and was benched for Tuesday's 101-89 loss to Detroit. The two apparently reconciled, and the center had 15 points and 12 rebounds against the Jazz.
"We're moving on, what happened is now water under the bridge," said Hawes, who averages 10.5 points and 5.9 boards.
Hawes, the 10th overall selection in the 2007 draft, wasn't much of a factor opposite Kaman last week, registering eight points with one rebound in just over 22 minutes off the bench.
Tyreke Evans continues to be a bright spot for the Kings, making 57.1 percent of his shots to average 22.3 points with 7.5 assists over the last four games. He scored 21 on 9-for-14 shooting against the Clippers.
The rookie guard leads the team with 20.3 points, 5.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game.