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Kings 115, Trail Blazers 107: Sacramento stays strong in the fourth

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The Sacramento Kings used a strong second quarter and held on to their lead for their 23rd win on the season.

Kimani Okearah

The final few minutes of this game was definitely intense with Damian Lillard on the other side of the ball, but the Kings didn’t let him do damage late this time. A 30-17 advantage in the second quarter also was the last time Portland held a lead in this game. A remarkable stat for a team that has struggled to hold leads as of late. Sacramento is staying in the playoff race with a big win tonight.

It was a fairly ugly first quarter, with 12 turnovers in total for both teams. Portland was responsible for eight alone, but Sacramento had two points off of them which isn’t good. Sacramento also shot 10-25 overall. Damian Lillard made a three off the bat and led Portland with seven. Buddy Hield led Sacramento with nine on 4-5 shooting, with his only miss being a rare airball. De’Aaron Fox had four assists and Willie Cauley-Stein was a struggling 0-4 from the floor. Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles were a spark off the bench. Kings trailed 27-24.

A really good turnaround by Sacramento and it was propelled by their great play off the bench. The bench scored 28 in the first half. Harry Giles was phenomenal with eight points on 4-5 shooting, two rebounds, one assist and a block. That stepback two was beautiful. Bagley had four points, three rebounds and an assist but was limited by three personal fouls. Bogdan Bogdanovic had nine points on 4-6 shooting with two assists, a steal and a block. Justin Jackson had a three and Yogi Ferrell scored four. Hield still led the team with 13 points, while Lillard also continued to lead Portland with 13. Each team had three more turnovers in the second. Sacramento was still a poor 4-15 from three but led 54-44 at the half.

The third quarter went back and forth. For every time the Blazers cut into the lead, the Kings would make a mini-run to try to keep things over double-digits. The Blazers made it an eight point game after a Zach Collins free throw, so they trailed 83-75 after three. Hield led Sacramento with 19 and Fox had 12. Lillard carried Portland with 25 on 9-20 shooting. The Kings were still a rough 6-20 from three.

That was a very intense fourth quarter. Each team scored 32 points in the final twelve minutes but the Kings did not falter their late lead this time. Iman Shumpert was shooting poor throughout the game but came in to play his lock down defense on Lillard and safe to say, he got the job done. With the win, the Kings have now won four of their last five and also have a record of 23-21.

Best Players

Bogdan Bogdanovic had another great shooting output off the bench in this one. He had 18 points on 8-10 shooting in 31 minutes to go along with three assists, two rebounds, one steal and one block. He did have five turnovers.

Buddy Hield was quiet for much of the second half but it didn’t hurt them. He had 19 points on 7-10 shooting with seven rebounds. FOUR of those were offensive rebounds.

De’Aaron Fox was a rough 3-11 from the field but converted on nine out of 10 free throws to finish with 16 points. He also dished out nine assists and stole the ball twice.

Marvin Bagley had a 13 point, 11 rebound double-double...off the bench. Bagley is going to be incredible.

Willie Money Watch

Last time against Portland, Jusef Nurkic had one of the most monstrous statlines in a while going against Cauley-Stein for much of the game. He didn’t have that impact this time as he was held to six points on 3-7 shooting, 11 rebounds, five assists and one block. Willie wasn’t perfect (that midrange jumper late in the fourth was a bad shot choice) but didn’t play like he did in the last Portland matchup. Willie finished with 12 points on 4-10 shooting (finishing at the rim continues to be an issue) with eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Notable Stats

Harry Giles had 12 points on 6-7 shooting with four rebounds, two assists and a steal in 19 minutes. Giles and Bagley off the bench will be so fun for however long they stay coming off the bench.

Justin Jackson had three three’s today, with two coming at big moments in the second half.

Sacramento finished 10-26 from three and 19-24 from the free throw line (an improvement).

Sacramento was out-rebounded 49-48 but had more assists at 24-22.

There were less turnovers in the second half compared to the enormous amount in the first half. Portland finished with 14 and Sacramento with 13.

Kings had 58(!) bench points. That’s one more than the starters!

The Game in a Few Sentences

Bagley is available for a game against Portland and the Kings hang on for the win. The difference of having Bagley is more than big for this team. No one knows if the Kings win the first game with Bagley available, but you can’t question his production or effort.

Next Game

Sacramento starts the road stretch against the Charlotte Hornets this Thursday at 4:00 PM PST. The Hornets defeated the San Antonio Spurs today by double-digits and held on for much of the Sacramento game.