The Clippers overcame a five point deficit in the final three minutes, and Chris Paul scored or assisted on their final 11 points, to escape with a narrow one point victory over the Kings.

wish the Los Angeles Clippers' biggest problem were that they take teams too lightly and play down to their competition. I wish it were just a matter of letting the Sacramento Kings back into this game when they should have put a bow on it early after building a 20 point lead at 40-20. It would be a problem, but an identifiable and fixable problem if the Clippers just had a problem with maintaining focus when they become overconfident. After all, if your biggest problem is playing badly against bad teams, that won't be an issue in the playoffs, when there are no bad teams.

Much more disconcerting is the fact that the Clippers' defense seems wholly incapable of getting a stop, even against a second tier team, even when the game is in the balance and focus should not be an issue.

Yes, the Clippers erased a five point deficit in the final three minutes to win the game by a point. How exactly they did that without getting a single stop during that time is hard to fathom. It helps that they Clippers themselves got nine points on three consecutive three point trips (the first aided by a DeMarcus Cousins technical foul, the second a corner three by Jared Dudley and the third a miracle fallaway three by Chris Paul at the shot clock buzzer).

But at the other end, where the Clippers have struggled all season, they were completely unable of defending the Kings, or at least of doing so without fouling them. Isaiah Thomas is clearly a very difficult cover for Paul, who probably prefers to be the small, tricky guy in his point guard matchups. On the Kings final five possessions of the game (not including the one with two seconds remaining) they went to the free throw line four times and got a layup on the fifth. Only the fact that Cousins missed a pair of free throws on one of his trips allowed the Clippers the opening to regain the lead and barely hang on for the win.

So, yes, teams now bring their A-game every time to play the Clippers, and yes Thomas and Cousins seem to be particularly bad matchups for them and yes LA did get the win. But you can't allow opponents to score 33 points in the fourth quarter on your home court and expect to win basketball games. By my count the Clippers only got five defensive rebounds the entire fourth quarter -- and two of those came after missed free throws. On a level playing field, the Kings outrebounded their own missed shots 5-3 in the fourth. That can't happen.