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Kings vs. Trail Blazers Preview: Another bump in the road?

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings travel to Portland today to take on the Blazers for a one-off road trip before returning home for their final home game of the month on Wednesday.  Sacramento surprised the Blazers earlier this season but since then Portland has been on a roll and Sacramento has been in a free fall.  Today's action tips off at 7:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and on KHTK 1140.

3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR

1. Sacramento's injury list is pretty long at this point.  Carl Landry remains out with what is now know to be a right wrist sprain.  Ramon Sessions (low back strain), DeMarcus Cousins (right ankle sprain), and Rudy Gay (left shoulder strain & left knee capsule sprain) are all questionable and Omri Casspi (eye abrasion & left knee bone contusion) is probable.  Cousins didn't play in Saturday's loss to the Clippers.  For Portland, they are missing center Robin Lopez, who broke his hand last month and won't return to action for a couple more weeks.

2. The Blazers are better than the Kings in almost every way but they're especially good in several areas.  They're among the league's best from beyond the arc, they're very good at rebounding, and they're also top-10 in both assists and blocks.  The one area that Sacramento does have Portland beat is Free Throw Attempts;  Sacramento remains the best team in the league in that category, while Portland is near the bottom.

3.  Rookie Nik Stauskas got a DNP-CD for the first time this year last game.  For those who have been watching, that's a bit surprising that it's only his first one given how much he has struggled this season.  We'll see if he gets any playing time tonight, especially with all of Sacramento's injuries.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson is coming off one of the best performances of his career, a 23 points and 22 rebound game against the Los Angeles Clippers.  With DeMarcus Cousins still questionable due to his ankle sprain, the Kings will need JT to step up once more on both ends of the court.  LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the tougher covers in the NBA, possessing perhaps the best mid-range skills of any big man in the NBA.  The Kings can't afford to let Aldridge have a huge game, and a lot of that responsibility is going to fall on JT's shoulders.

PREGAME LIMERICK

The last time we won was a week ago,
and it's not looking good for tonight's show.
Blazers are great,
Kings can't relate,
much to our fanbase's everlasting woe.

PREDICTION

Kings 108, Blazers 106 as Quincy Miller thinks the Blazers are simply another D-League team and torches them for 43.