After Wednesday’s embarassment in Atlanta, the Sacramento Kings returned home and emerged as a completely different team. The defense was swarming, as the Kings limited a talented Portland Trail Blazers team and emerged with a 86-82 win.
Dave Joerger adjusted the lineups, moving De’Aaron Fox and Skal Labissiere into the starting lineup along with George Hill, Zach Randolph, and Garrett Temple. The move paid off as the Kings avoided falling into an early hole like they have so often this season.
Willie Cauley-Stein led the Kings from the bench, finishing with 22 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block. Willie was engaged on defense and played exactly how we often hope he would.
The big drawback tonight was that Buddy Hield left the game with an ankle injury in the 4th quarter. Luckily it’s being reported as just a sprain, and we’ll hope it’s nothing too serious. Hield provided the Kings with a nice spark off the bench yet again, and finished with 8 points.
Overall, just a fantastic team win. We’ll see if the Kings have a repeat performance in them as they travel to face the Blazers again tomorrow night.