Tyronn Lue aiming to fix what ails Clippers after another double-digit loss

Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis, right, drives against Los Angeles Clippers.

After seeing so much decline in his team’s recent play, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue is determined to find a solution.

His potential fix? More practice.

In the wake of the Clippers' 123-107 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night at Arena, Lue will have plenty of justification for pushing his players in practice over the next two days.

Lue said his practice sessions will have a simple theme: “Just get better.”

“We're going to practice the next two days just to make sure we understand what we need to do on offense and what we need to do on defense and continue to keep getting better,” Lue said before Sunday's loss. “And so we've had some slippage on both sides of the ball as far as what we need to do. And so we have these two practice days to get better and hopefully get back on track to the way we've been playing before.”

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After the Kings shot 49.5% from the field and 40.5% from three-point range and had six players score in double figures, led by De’Aaron Fox’s 33 points, seven assists and six rebounds, Lue was asked what went wrong.

“Everything,” he said.

The Clippers have struggled since the All-Star break, their defense barely to be found and their offense stagnant. They are 1-2 since the break, with both losses coming by double digits. They lost by 22 points on the road to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.

Lue hopes the Clippers will regain their focus over the next two days before playing the Lakers on Wednesday.

“It’s a grind and long season ... so we just got to get back mentally focused, understanding what we need to do if we want to take that next step, like I say, going into the playoffs. And so, just mentally focusing, getting back sharp again on both sides of the basketball and taking these days to get better.”

Against the Kings, Lue did not have one of his stars, with Paul George out because of left knee soreness.

Norman Powell filled in for George in his first start of the season, finishing with 21 points.

“You know, [it’s] just touching up a few things,” said Powell, about what the Clippers can do to improve. “We have two days to clean up some things, get back in the flow offensively. Defensively, how we want to play, every single night. But just being tied in defensively is the biggest thing.

"I'm not too worried about our offense. We got enough talent to figure that out throughout the course of games. But defensively, we got to clean up a few things.”

The Clippers trailed by 18 points after the third quarter, and they got as close as five points in the fourth several times before the Kings pulled away. With 6:30 left, Malik Monk made a three-pointer and followed with a layup. Harrison Barnes then sank a wide-open three to put the Kings up by 13 with 5:13 left, and the Clippers never threatened Sacramento's lead again.

Domantas Sabonis had 17 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists, and Barnes finished with 22 points. Monk had 12 points.

Kawhi Leonard had 20 points, eight rebounds and four blocks for the Clippers. James Harden had 20 points and eight assists, and Ivica Zubac finished with 16 points and six rebounds.

At 37-19, the Clippers are fourth in the Western Conference.

“I think losing by [16] and then obviously pretty much getting blitzed by OKC as well, so just trying to close the gap right there, really,” Leonard said. “And yeah, defensive rebounding, just execution a little bit. Coming out of timeouts and not knowing what we're doing at times. Yeah, but we are a little flat right now. But we got time to pick it up and get some carryover.”

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.