This one hurts.
The Sacramento Kings blew two big leads before losing 132-125 to the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Kings held a 20-point lead in the second quarter and went up by 18 early in the third but couldn’t put the Trail Blazers away.
Portland’s dynamic duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum were too much for Sacramento to handle. The pair combined for 68 points to lead the Trail Blazers to the comeback win.
The Kings only have themselves to blame for this one. When they were able to build up big leads, the team began to take plays on on the defensive end. Lillard — who finished with 40 points — was able to get to the rim at will. If the help came to cut off the penetration, Lillard was able to find teammates for easy buckets. Dame finished this one with 13 assists.
This game was a true Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde performance for the Kings.
Led by De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento came out sizzling to start the game. Fox had 15 points, four assists and three boards, and the Kings shot 70% as a team to take a 43-33 after the opening 12 minutes.
The second unit helped extend the lead to 58-38 with 7:20 left, but the Trail Blazers went on a 27-10 run to narrow the deficit to three at the break.
Sacramento came out of the locker room similar to how it did to open the game. The Kings went on a 26-13 run to extend the lead back to 19.
January 14, 2021
Portland took over from there, outscoring Sacramento 57-32 the rest of the way.
The Kings went ice-cold from the field in the fourth, connecting on just seven-of-18 field goal attempts and were outscored 32-21 over the final 12 minutes.
Sacramento fell to 5-7 with the loss but is showing glimpses that it could compete with the best teams in the Western Conference. The Kings’ lack of consistency — especially on the defensive end — continues to be a concern.
What are your takeaways from the loss to Portland?