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Kings vs. Trail Blazers Preview: Last chance for home cooking for a while

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Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento's got one more home game on the block before heading off on the longest road trip of the season.  Unfortunately, it's yet another game against a top Western Conference team and another game without DeMarcus Cousins.  Today's action tips off at 3:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and on KHTK 1140.

3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR

1. Man, the West just keeps getting tougher and tougher.  Portland landing Arron Afflalo for what essentially amounts to spare parts was a major coup.  Afflalo would start on many teams but for Portland he's providing quality bench play and a potential insurance policy next season should Wesley Matthews leave in Free Agency.

2. The Kings actually competed rather well against the Spurs even without Cousins.  However, the execution down the stretch was not good, especially by Rudy Gay who had several turnovers from dribbling too much.  Sacramento needs to do a better job of trusting each other and moving the ball instead of being predictable.

3. Meyers Leonard took a little while to develop but he's turned into a pretty good shooter for a big guy.  He's shooting 45.1% from three point range and also rebounding at a very high rate.  That adds an interesting option for Portland off the bench.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Jason Thompson

Remember back in 2008 when LaMarcus Aldridge was considered the third wheel behind Greg Oden and Brandon Roy?  Aldridge has turned into the face of the franchise in Portland and deservedly so.  He can score from almost every area on the floor and Jason Thompson has had a lot of trouble guarding him this year.  The Kings can't afford to have Aldridge have a dominant game if they hope to have a chance to win.

PREGAME LIMERICK

The Blazers landed Afflalo?
the trade deadline was hard to follow.
So many trades,
and bloggers posting grades,
But Portland getting Arron was hard to swallow.

PREDICTION

Kings 109, Blazers 104 after Ryan Hollins defects to the Portland Trail Blazers only to reveal at the last second that he's a double agent.  Why Portland chose to put Ryan Hollins in the game during crunch time was anyone's guess though.