This game was almost identical yesterday’s loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves. As soon as the Portland Trail Blazers took a lead that was increased to double-digits, there was no looking back. No matter what the Kings tried to do to come back, they couldn’t. Easy shots didn’t fall, blatant turnovers, and allowing the three ball really hurt the Kings chances.
The main story line of this game was Damian Lillard and how he dropped 50 in three quarters against Sacramento in their last match up. Well he scored the first two shots of the game to make the score 5-0, a troll moment at its finest. Lillard would dominate that first quarter en route to having 15 points. The Kings on the otherhand, went to Zach Randolph quite a lot early on and it didn’t help them. It ended up leading to easy buckets the other way. The score would end 36-26.
In the second quarter, Lillard wasn’t as dominant. He was only responsible for two of the points that the Blazers scored in that period. However, guys like Ed Davis and Jusuf Nurkic starting getting involved down low. The Blazers saw production from anyone not named Lillard that whole quarter. The Kings played better in that quarter in terms of scoring more and allowing less, but they entered the second half trailing by 13.
The third quarter was where we finally saw some motivation from the Kings team. They started playing better overall defense as we saw them force multiple turnovers. They would outscore the Blazers 27-22 in that quarter as Portland looked like a completely different team, but that all changed in the fourth.
After a Skal Labissiere block to start the fourth, it was just another game of catch up. The Kings tried to come back, key word tried. They couldn’t. The Blazers started raining down threes and the Kings started slipping in that rain, giving the ball away and not being able to capitalize. Sacramento would be out-scored 28-19 and a final score of 116-99 is complete. The tank rolls on!
Zach Randolph: Z-Bo didn’t play last night, but ended this game with a team-high in points. He started off bad, but slowly played better as he ended the game with 20 points and six rebound son 8/16 shooting. One thing that still bugs me is that the Kings do go to Randolph a bit too much. We saw it early in the first and if the Kings are supposed to be focusing on developing the youth, then they shouldn’t be relying on Randolph’s post ups, hooks, etc., all the time.
Willie Cauley-Stein: Willie Cauley-Stein had another nice game on offense, as he scored 17 points but there was a lot of missed shots that should be going in for him. He would also get 10 rebounds in 31 minutes. Defensively, I thought he didn’t have the best game. He was out-worked on plays, but I did like that block he got in the second half.
Vince Carter: In 19 minutes, the 41-year-old Vince Carter led the way in scoring off the bench. He was a perfect 4/4 from the field and the two threes he hit came at the right times. Too bad the Kings couldn’t capitalize off that momentum. He also added four rebounds and two steals.
De’Aaron Fox struggled on his shot today (5/15), mainly missed layups and close-range shots but he accounted for eight assists. He did score 13 in 33 minutes along with three rebounds and three steals. His backcourt partner Bogdan Bogdanovic also had a rough shooting night (6/14), but scored 14 points in 32 minutes. He also passed for four assists and had two steals.
Justin Jackson had a much better night than the last few, especially on defense. He did scored nine points on 3/5 shooting in 24 minutes, but his steals pop out the most. He had four of them, which he got going in that third quarter.
Buddy Hield had an extremely rough game today. He played 28 minutes and nearly had more rebounds than steals. He shot 2/11 for six points and five rebounds. He was 0/4 from three, so definitely not a typical Buddy night.
Skal Labissiere struggled as well, but had four of his six points come on free throws. He led the team in scoring yesterday as a starter.
The Kings were bad yet again at defending the three. They allowed 15, while making seven of their own. Not a recipe for success.
On a positive note, the Kings actually made more free throws than the Blazers!
The Kings were dominated on the glass again (47-36) and they were also out-assisted 27-20. The Kings did forced 17 turnovers (14 steals) while giving it away 13 times. The Kings out-blocked Portland 4-2.
Damian Lillard led the way with 26 points and 12 assists. Nurkic added 17 and Shabazz Napier scored 20 off the bench, including four threes. All Portland starters were in double-digit scoring.
The Kings return home on the first day of March to take on the Brooklyn Nets at 7:00 PM PST. Prepare for a tank war!
The Game in One Sentence
De’Aaron Fox getting smacked in the face by Lillard in the first quarter summarized what followed.