The Sacramento Kings’ solid outing fell short as they were defeated by the Portland Trail Blazers 116-99.
Last time the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers faced off, Damian Lillard was absolute fire scoring the ball. He remained to pick Sacramento’s defense apart to start tonight’s game as he scored 15 points in the first period and Portland collectively scored 36 points. The Kings were able to have some offensive success themselves, scoring 26 points for the quarter, which helped them in keeping the score somewhat competitive to conclude the period.
The start of the second quarter was better for the Kings. With no Lillard on the court, the purple and white took advantage as they were able to gradually trim the Blazers’ lead. But once the “Kings Stopper” got back on the hardwood, the Blazers got their mojo back. The Kings had no answer for Portland’s offense as Lillard and company executed well for the rest of the period. A 30-27 quarter in favor of the Blazers resulted in a 13-point lead for them going into halftime.
For the Kings to have any chance of winning this game, they needed to improve on the defensive end. The third quarter was a good start to that as the Kings were physical and active against the Blazers’ offense, and as a result, Portland scored just 22 points for the quarter. Also, the Kings were able to have some scoring success which had them outscoring the Blazers 27-22 for the period. The Kings were still trailing, however, 88-80 to end the third.
With the Kings carrying the momentum going into the fourth, a possible upset seemed like a reality. Unfortunately, the Blazers stomped that hope real quick. The successful offense Portland had earlier in the game came back as their execution was superb and everyone was making their shots. The Kings did what they could but eventually fell short by a score of 116-99.
Tonight was a good night for the Kings as they collectively had a solid performance and more positive signs were shown from their young talent.
Willie Cauley-Stein had a solid outing as he recorded 17 points and nine rebounds. De’Aaron Fox did a nice job facilitating the offense as he had 13 points and seven assists. And Buddy Hield made huge strides defensively as he gave the Blazers’ guards fits throughout the night. Also, Vince Carter and Zach Randolph were huge contributors to the Kings’ production as they combined for 30 points and 10 rebounds.
This game will go down as a loss for Sacramento, but they were able to be competitive against a good team for the majority of the game. A positive sign of their rebuild heading in the right direction.
Next time the Kings take the court will be Thursday night when they face off against the Brooklyn Nets.