(SportsNetwork.com) – The Portland Trail Blazers try to stay unbeaten on the
young season when they visit the Sacramento Kings Friday night.
Portland has high expectations for this season behind LaMarcus Aldridge and
Damian Lillard. Aldridge recorded 27 points and Lillard added 10 with five
assists in Wednesday’s 106-89 victory over the Kevin Durant-less Oklahoma City
Wesley Matthews had 22 points and Robin Lopez chipped in 11 to go along with a
game-best 10 rebounds. The Trail Blazers, who needed a big fourth quarter
(31-12) to dispatch the Thunder, made 44.8 percent from the floor and scored
20 points off 15 OKC turnovers.
“I was pleased the way we did it in the second half with defense,” Blazers
head coach Terry Stotts said. “Defense led to some good offense at the end.”
Nicolas Batum had 16 points and Chris Kaman 12 off the bench in his Portland
The Kings opened their season with a 95-77 loss at home to the Golden State
Warriors Wednesday, as DeMarcus Cousins continued his FIBA World Cup dominance
with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Cousins didn’t get much support with 14 points from Rudy Gay and 13 by
newcomer Darren Collison. Ben McLemore didn’t score in 26 minutes of action
and missed all five of his shots for Sacramento, which hit a lowly 30.8
percent from the field and just 3-of-18 3-pointers.
Golden State scored 26 points off 27 turnovers. Cousins turned the ball over
“It was at 5:40 in the third quarter when we were up by one, and we turned
into the Keystone Cops,” Kings head coach Michael Malone said.
The Kings, whose season high for turnovers last season was 25, had won their
last 13 openers at home.
Portland defeated Sacramento three times in four attempts last season. The two
teams have split the past 16 encounters in California’s capital city. The
Trail Blazers lead the all-time series, 121-75 (80-44 in Sacramento era).