The Kings make it rain in Portland to get a big 123-111 win on Saturday night

Photo: Richaun Holmes returned to the Kings lineup on Saturday night @NBCS

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Where were you on December 8, 2012? The Sacramento Kings were in Portland and that was the last time they won a basketball game in “Rip City” until Saturday night. After suffering 12 consecutive losses over seven-plus years in Portland, the Sacramento Kings broke the curse and beat the Trail Blazers on their homecourt 123-111.

Playoff implications

The Trail Blazers (28-37) and Kings (28-35) are both fighting to jump into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. That slot is currently held by the Memphis Grizzlies who have not been able to distance themselves from the Kings, Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Spurs and even the Suns who have a real chance to qualify for the playoffs.

This was the final meeting of the season between the Kings and the Blazers. The teams split the series 2-2.

The Kings started fast

The Kings started the game like a “Top Fuel” dragster. Harrison Barnes led the way scoring 11 points in the first quarter that saw Sacramento outscore Portland 40-24.

The Kings shot 55.2-percent (16-for-29) overall in the period and went 5-for-9 (55.6%) from behind the 3-point line. They dished out 11 assists in the first 12 minutes while making five steals. SAC was simply overwhelming.

The train kept rolling in the second quarter

The Kings did not cool off in the second period. Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic decided it was time “to make it rain” 3-pointers. The two shooting guards combined to hit 7-of-8 shots from downtown. As a team, Sacramento shot 9-for-12 (75%) from behind the arc.

The Kings outscored the Blazers 37-30 in the quarter.

Hield put up 14 points while Bogdanovic added 11.

At halftime, Sacramento held a 77-54 lead over Portland.

The Trail Blazers did just roll over and quit

When you have CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard on your team, you are never out of contention as long as there is time on the clock. Portland did not get hot, but they did play better than the Kings in the third quarter.

Sacramento cooled off in the third stanza as might have been expected. They shot 6-for-21 (28.6%) from the field; however, five of those baskets came from 3-point land.

Portland won the quarter 26-23, but the Kings still held a 100-80 lead after 36 minutes of play.

Wave the white flag

The Kings opened the final quarter by going on an 8-2 run that broke the Trail Blazers back. Portland tried to get back into the game, but it was too late.

Terry Stotts emptied his bench and the reserves played with vigor, but it was a futile effort.

The Kings won the game 123-111.

Top Performers

Leading scorers

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic was the game’s leading scorer with 27 points
  • Hassan Whiteside and CJ McCollum led the Blazers with 19 points each

Glass cleaners

  • Whiteside was the top rebounder with 11 grabs to give him a double-double
  • Richaun Holmes – who supplied some much-needed energy to the Kings – hauled in eight rebounds

Dropping dimes

  • De’Aaron Fox made it a double-double game by dishing out 11 assists in the contest
  • Lillard and McCollum led Portland with six assists each

Up next

The Kings jumped on their plane and flew back to Sacramento where they will host the defending NBA Toronto Raptors on Sunday night.

Portland will be off until Tuesday when they will host the Phoenix Suns.

 

 

 

Warriors lose a thriller in overtime to Portland 129-124

azcentral.com photo: msn.com photo: Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard drives to the hoop against the Golden State Warriors.

By Jerry Feitelberg

It was a meeting of two banged-up teams Monday night at the Mod Center in Portland, Oregon. The Golden State Warriors suited up eight players for the game. Draymond Green was out with a sprained finger.

Glenn Robinson has a sore ankle and was not available. Kevon Looney is still on the injured list. Portland had nine players available. C.J. McCollum was held out of action Monday night. He may return on Wednesday. There is no timetable for Zach Collins or Jusef Nurcic to return.

The Warriors beat the Blazers the last time the teams met. The Blazers couldn’t believe what happened to them, and they wanted to get the win. Without McCollum, the scoring load fell to the Blazers’ other All-Star guard, Damian Lillard. Lillard, who is from Oakland, had a sensational game.

The young man from Oakland put a career-high and season-high sixty-one points on the board. He made a career-high 11 threes and led his team to a 129-124 overtime win over the Warriors.

The game was a barn-burner from start to finish. The most significant lead that Portland had all night was six points. The Warriors led by 11 in the second quarter 44-33. Lillard started making threes, and the W’s lead disappeared.

The Blazers won the first period 27-23. D’Angelo Russell was one-for nine from the floor early in the game. Alec Burks and Damion Lee paced the Warrior offense in the quarter. The Warriors started the second quarter on a 12-0 run to lead 35-27 the Warriors, behind D’Angelo Russell’s 13-point performance, finished the first half with a 4-point advantage 57-53.

Russell led the team in scoring in the first half with 15. Burks had 11. Willie Cauley-Stein and Marquese Chriss each had eight. Damian Lillard led Portland with 21. He made two threes in the half.

The third quarter was wild and wooly. The Warriors won the quarter 35-34. Eric Paschall, D’Angelo Russell, Alec Burks, and Jordan Poole all contributed helping the Warriors end the third period leading 92-87. The Blazers’ Lillard put on a show as he had 21 points in the third quarter to keep Portland close to the lead.

The Warriors maintained the lead for a while in the fourth quarter. Russell hit a three to make the score 100-95. Portland clawed their way back and regained the lead for the first time since the first quarter when Lillard knocked down a three to put Portland ahead 103-102.

The Blazers increased the lead to 105-102. It was at this point that the Warriors went on a 7-0 run to lead 109-105. Portland fought back and led 110-109. The Warriors made the next two baskets to lead 113-110. Lillard made his tenth three of the night to tie the game at 113 and send it to overtime.

The Warriors, behind Alec Burks, Eric Paschall, and Willie Cauley-Stein scored the first six points of the overtime period to lead 119-113. The Warriors could not stop Lillard. He continued to find ways to score, and his efforts led the Blazers to the lead 123-121.

Alec Burks hit a three, and the W’s regained the advantage 124-123.  The Warriors would not score again. Portland made a two-point shot to go-ahead 125-124. Burks then missed a three. Portland’s big center, Hassan Whiteside, was fouled, making the rebound.

Whiteside made the free throws to put the Blazers in the driver’s seat 127-124. The Warriors with 8.5 seconds to play, and they needed to make a three-point shot. The Warriors found Jordan Poole in the corner. His three-point shot missed the mark. Damian Lillard was then fouled. Lillard made both free throws to put the icing on the cake. Portland wins 129-124.

Game Notes and Stats- The star of the night was Damian Lillard. Lillard set a career-high with 61 points. He tallied 60 earlier this season. He also had a career-high 11 threes. He also set an NBA record for points scored on Martin Luther King Day.

The Warriors played well but not well enough. The young Warriors have played tough competitive games, and they should be much better when they get their star players back. The Warriors youngsters are getting valuable playing time. They are learning how to compete in the NBA. It has been a challenging year, to say the least, for the Warriors. Let’s take a look at the bright side of Monday’s night loss.

Alec Burks led Golden State with 33 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists. Burks made two three-point shots. D’Angelo Russell’s numbers were 27 points, eight boards, nine assists, and five 3s. Eric Paschall had a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Marquese Chriss had 14, Willie Cauley-Stein 12, and Jordan Poole nine.

Damian Lillard finished with 61 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, and he connected on 11 threes. Hassan Whiteside, who always plays well against Golden State, had 17 points, 21 rebounds, and he blocked six shots. Carmelo Anthony had 14, Anfernee Simons, 15, and Gary Trent, Jr. 11.

The Blazers will announce on Tuesday that they have traded Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver to the Sacramento Kings for Trevor Ariza, Caleb Swangian, and Wenyen Gabriel.

With the loss, The Warriors drop to 10-35. The Blazers improved to 19-26.

The Warriors return home to face the Utah Jazz Wednesday night at the Chase Center. The game will start at 7 pm.

 

Trail Blazers send the Warriors down to their fifth loss in a row 122-112

Photo credit: @warriors

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors met the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center on Wednesday night. The Warriors, trying to rebound after a dreadful performance last Sunday night, played well, but not well enough. The Blazers were able to hold off the Warriors down the stretch to win 122-112.

The two teams played a very competitive first quarter. Warriors point guard, D”Angelo Russell, connected on a three to make the score 23-22 in favor of Portland. The Blazers responded by going on a 17-7 run to finish the quarter and led by eleven, 40-27.

The Blazers led for most of the second quarter. The Warriors kept coming back and cut the deficit to four 55-51. Portland upped the lead to 65-57. It was at this point near the end of the first half when the Warriors made three consecutive three-point shots. Alec Burks made two and Eric Paschall, back in action after missing the last two games, connected for his first three of the game. Paschall’s bucket gave the lead back to Golden State 66-65. But that lead didn’t last long as the Blazers scored the last basket of the half to finish with a one-point lead 67-66. The Warriors, outscored by 11 in the first period, outscored the Blazers by 10 in the second.

The Blazers went on a 7-0 run to start the third quarter. The Warriors did not lose their composure and stayed within striking distance of regaining the lead. They came close trailing by one point 87-86.  Portland did not wilt. They made vital buckets and finished the third quarter with a five-point advantage, 97-92.

The Warriors did not fold. They kept coming back. However, they just could not get a bucket or a three-pointer when they needed one. They were down by two, 100-98. Portland built the lead back to seven, 109-102. Glenn Robinson connected on a three to make it 109-105. That was the best the Warriors could do. Portland held on to win by a final of 122-102.

Game Notes: Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr had to be pleased with his team’s effort Wednesday. The Warriors played poorly Sunday night at the Chase Center. The team looked much better. They moved the ball well. They made 16 threes in 38 tries. They turned the ball over just seven times. They had 24 assists. The made seven steals and blocked seven. Their only deficiency was at the free-throw line. They were 14 for 23 from the charity stripe. Portland was 25 for 28. The 11-point advantage helped the Blazers win the game.

The Warriors had six players in double figures. D’Angelo Russell led the club with 26 points. Russell made five threes in 12 tries. Glenn Robinson had 17, and he made a career-high five threes. Alec Burks had 16, and he knocked down four threes. Eric Paschall had in 17 minutes of playing time. Marquese Chriss had his third double-double in the last four games. He had 10 points and 10 boards. Willie Cauley-Stein had 12 points and seven boards.

The Blazers were led by their dynamic backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Lillard had quite a night as he knocked down 31 points, had 13 assists, and five rebounds. McCollum finished with 30. Veteran Carmelo Anthony had 17 points and eight rebounds. Blazers center Hassan Whiteside, who loves to torment the Warriors, finished with a double-double. Hassan, who was with the Miami Heat last year, kicked in with 16 points and grabbed 23 rebounds to help the Blazers win.

With the loss, the Warriors maintained the worst record in the NBA 5-24.  The Warriors have lost five in a row and nine of the last 10. The Blazers, who struggled earlier in the season, improved to 12-16.

Up Next: The Warriors return home to face the New Orleans Pelicans Friday night at the Chase Center. The Pelicans are 7-22 for the year, and the Warriors will be trying to get a win at their expense. The game will start at 7:30 pm PST.

Short-handed Kings battle, but fall to Trail Blazers 127-116

Photo credit: @trailblazers

By Jeremiah Salmonson

The Sacramento Kings were coming off a tough loss to the Chicago Bulls. They arrived at the Moda Center to play the Portland Trail Blazers, who have struggled this year coming off a tough double-digit loss to the Clippers the night before. Both the Kings and the Blazers are banged up with starters and role players hurt. Namely, the Kings started the game having declared Bogdan Bogdanovic out with a knee contusion. So, the Kings needed big contributions from Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, and Richaun Holmes to compete with the Blazers.

In the first quarter, it was a tale of two stories. In the first six minutes, the Kings looked like a team lost in the Pacific Northwest as the Blazers jumped to an early 24-16 lead. From there, the Kings looked a different team. Struggling guard Buddy Hield started making shots and the Kings took off to finish the quarter up 35-30. Buddy finished the quarter with 14 points to lead the Kings.

In the second quarter, both teams continued their torrid pace. Thanks to both teams continuing to get the ball up and down the court, the game turned into a shootout. Buddy Hield and Richaun Holmes led the Kings on the offensive end scoring 17 and 11, respectively, in the first half. For Portland, a major portion of the offense was scored by CJ McCollum, who had 23 points while shooting better than 75% from the field. Headed into halftime, the Kings trailed the Blazers 66-64.

The first half treated fans to a shootout. In the third quarter, both teams continued to put up points. Kings center Richaun Holmes had a great quarter in which he scored 10 points. Buddy Hield and Nemenja Bjelica also continued to score to keep the Kings close. However, the Blazers were able to hit a few more shots and led the Kings 95-100 going into the final quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Kings hoped to turn what had been a shootout into a win. If they hoped to accomplish this, they needed to tighten up their play on the defensive end and continue to hit shots on offense. Unfortunately, the Kings fell victim to what the NBA knows as “Dame Time” as Damian Lillard played extremely well in the fourth and made a series of difficult shots to lead the Blazers to a 127-116 victory. CJ McCollum led all scorers with 33 points and Richaun Holmes led the Kings with 28 points and 10 boards. The Kings fell to 8-12 on the season as the Blazers improved to 9-13.

The Blazers stay home to face the LA Lakers on Friday evening at 7:30 pm PST.

The Kings continue the road trip with a three-city Texas swing that starts in San Antonio on Friday evening at 7:30 pm CST.

Kings win again, downing Portland 107-99 on Tuesday night

SAC 11-12

By Charlie O. Mallonee

SACRAMENTOOn Tuesday night, the Kings played their first game since learning that star point guard De’Aaron Fox was going to be unavailable to the team for an extended period of time. Fox suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain, which usually implies ligament damage, at the end of practice on Monday. Fox is currently on crutches and will be re-evaluated in four weeks. How long Fox will be gone has yet to be determined.

NBA observers immediately predicted “doom and gloom”

The national experts who cover the NBA almost immediately declared that the injury to Fox ended any chance the Kings had of making a playoff run this season. The team had stumbled out of the starting gate losing their first five games but seemed to be putting things together after going 2-1 on their first road trip to the East Coast.

“Those in the know” felt that the team would not be able to overcome the loss of Fox who is their uptempo playmaker. Fox is also a key scorer for the team when they need a boost on the scoreboard.

Tuesday night the Kings had to face the Portland Trail Blazers in their first test without Fox on the floor. Sacramento had lost to the Blazers 122-112 at home in the second of the season.

Portland tried to take control in the first half

The Trail Blazers came out in the first quarter shooting 50% from the floor and 33% from 3-point range. The Kings really struggled as they shot just 34.6% from the field and a miserable 16.7% from downtown. What kept Sacramento in the game was their volume of shots.

Portland hit 9 of 18 shots in the opening period while the Kings put in 9 of 26 attempts from the field. The Blazers held just a 24-21 lead when the first quarter came to a close.

The Kings’ shooting and defense improved in the second quarter, and they matched the Blazers in almost every statistical category. Portland was up by only three points, 49-46, at the half.

Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts said after the game: “Sacramento didn’t shoot the ball particularly well – neither team shot the ball well in the first half. I felt like we should have had a bigger lead at halftime.”

Could the Kings overcome their Third Quarter nemesis?

The Kings have experienced difficulty in the third quarter in the majority of their games so far this season. They have had a tendency to start the period slowly and then watch their opponents put them in a position where they have to play catch up in the fourth quarter.

That did not happen on Tuesday night. Sacramento outscored Portland 35-21 in the third period. They accomplished that by shooting an outstanding 57.9% (11-for-19) overall and sinking 2 of 5 (40%) from long range. They also converted 11 of 13 opportunities from free throw line.

At the end of 36 minutes of play, Sacramento led Portland 81-70.

Portland Head Coach Terry Stotts: “They got off to a good start in the third quarter and built a lead and we really couldn’t recover from that initial burst at the start of the third quarter.”

Portland did not give up in the fourth

The Blazers outscored the Kings 29-26 in the final 12 minutes and cut the Sacramento lead down to five points with 2:51 to go in the game. Bjelica hit a 26-foot, 3-point shot to give his team an eight-point lead. The Kings would go on to win the game 107-99.

The Kings record improves to 4-6 and they have now won 4 of their last 5 games. Portland’s record drops to 4-7 on the young season.

After the game, Luke Walton wanted to talk “D”

“I want to talk about our defense. It’s been what we’ve been preaching about every day since day one of training camp and I’m the first to admit, it needs to get a lot better. But that’s why – not only tonight but I feel like slowly even if our numbers haven’t showed it, guys are starting to understand and really make steps as far as individual defense and team defense. Tonight, we started the game, we couldn’t make anything – great shooters, wide-open shots – and that’s why defense is important.”

Focus on the Kings

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic was the Kings top scorer. He came off the bench to score 25 points and dish out 10 assists. “Bogi” scored 25 of the Kings 36 bench points.
  • Buddy Hield added 20 points in 37 minutes of playing time. Hield did not have a great night shooting just 7-for-21, but he hit big shots when they were needed.
  • Nemanja Bjelica recorded a double-double scoring 19 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

Blazers top performers

  • To no one’s surprise, Damian Lillard scored a game-high 27 points. “Dame” went 13-for-14 from the free throw line. He also played almost 38 minutes. He is truly an incredible player.
  • CJ McCollum added 24 points shooting a very nice 11-for-21 from the floor.
  • Hassan Whiteside had another nice game against the Kings as he put up 17 points and hauled in seven rebounds.

Up next

The Kings will be off until Friday night when they will face the Lakers at Staples Center in LA.

The Blazers head home for the back end of a back-to-back with the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O: Kings going for their fourth win in five games tonight in Sacramento

sacbee.com file photo: The Sacramento Kings De’Aaron Fox drives on the Toronto Raptors defense on Nov 6th game at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Fox is out with an ankle injury for unknown amount of time.

On the Kings podcast with Charlie O:

#1 The Kings have won three of their last four games, including a win over the Atlanta Hawks 121-109. Were these games a matter of surprise wins for Sacramento or just hard work starting to pay off for the Kings?

#2 The Sacramento Kings’ Buddy Hield scored 22 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 20 points in the game against the Hawks.

#3 The game was on the Hawks floor, and try as they may, the Hawks could barely keep up with the Kings. The Kings have some very quick players and the Hawks lost by 12

#4 Talk about the Kings defense. They seemed to maintain the Hawks throughout the game and were able to establish winning and their defense worked in the fourth quarter.

#5 The Kings host the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday night at Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento. You’ve seen them win on this road trip. Could their odds go up a little bit for Tuesday night’s game having the home floor?

Charlie O does Kings podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Young Warriors, behind Paschall’s tremendous effort, down Trail Blazers 127-118

Photo credit: mercurynews.com

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors led by three rookies — Eric Paschall, Ky Bowman, and Jordan Poole — and stunned the Portland Trailblazer Monday night at the Chase Center by a score of 127-118. It was the Warriors’ first win at the Chase Center this season.

The Warriors were again without the services of Draymond Green, D’Angelo Russell, and Kevon Looney. Steph Curry is out for at least three months. Klay Thompson is out for the season. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr’s starting lineup had three rookies and two veterans, Willie Cauley-Stein and Glen Robinson.

The Warriors, who played well for most of the game Saturday against Charlotte for three quarters, were able to put together a complete game as they stunned Portland. The Warriors played all four quarters with a lot of energy. They played well on offense as they recorded 28 assists. They improved on defense. They outrebounded Portland 47-44. The Warriors attacked the basket all night long. They had 36 free throws and made 33.

The Warriors’ player of the game was Eric Paschall. The young man that played his college ball at Villanova turned 23 on Monday. Paschall, who won a National Championship with Villanova, was the 41st player picked in the 2019 NBA Draft and showed the NBA that he came ready to play. In his seventh NBA game, Paschall tallied 36 points and had 13 rebounds for his first career double-double. Also, he knocked down four three-point shots. He scored 17 points in the first quarter and had his third game in the league with more than 20 points. His 36 points were the most scored by a rookie this year.

The Warriors and Blazers played a fast-paced and entertaining first quarter. The Warriors led most of the way. The most significant lead they had was 14-7. The teams tied at 22 and again at 27. Portland led 30-29 near the end of the period. The Warriors went on a 5-0 run to finish leading 34-30.

The Blazers outscored the Warriors 31-26 in the second quarter to lead 63-60 at the end of the first 24 minutes of action. Damian Lillard and Hassan Whiteside pace the Blazers with 17 points and 14 points. Eric Paschall finished the half with 19 points. Rookie point guard Ky Bowman, who played his college ball at Boston College, knocked down 10.

Portland increased the lead to 65-60 to start the third quarter. The Warriors responded with an 8-0 run to take the lead 68-65. It was nip and tuck for the remainder of the third quarter. Eric Paschall, Willie Cauley-Stein, Damian Lee, and Ky Bowman played with a lot of energy, and the Warriors refused to wilt. The Warriors won the period 27-20 and led 87-83 with 12 minutes left to play.

The Blazers, who probably has the best backcourt in the league now that Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are on the shelves, fought back and tied the game at 99. Alec Burks made a couple of crucial three-point plays. Eric Paschall was a force on offense as well as on defense. Eric scored a bucket after fighting for a rebound to put the Warriors up 117-105. Jordan Poole and Damian Lee played exceptionally well. The Blazers double-teamed Lee every time he handled the ball, trying to force turnovers. They were successful a couple of times, but they fouled Damian several times. Lee made 8 free throws in nine attempts. The Warriors refused to fold, and they ran out the clock with a stunning victory over the Blazers.

Game Notes: As mentioned above, Eric Paschall had the biggest night of his young career. In just seven games, he has shown that he is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the NBA. The Dubs had six players in double figures. Paschall led the way with 36. Ky Bowman had 19, Jordan Poole and Damian Lee each had 16. Alec Burns, coming off the bench, added 13, and Cauley-Stein had 10.

Damian Lillard, who is from Oakland, led the Blazers with 39. he hit five threes in 13 tries. His backcourt partner, C.J.McCollum, finished with 14. Big Hassan Whiteside, who killed the Warriors when he was with the Miami Heat, had a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. The Blazers’ bench players, Anfernee Simons and Mario Hezonjka, had 14 and 11.

The Blazers shot almost 45% from the floor. The Warriors were better as they shot 48.8%. The Blazers hit 13 threes while the W’s connected 10 times on 26 attempts. The Blazers committed six turnovers. The Warriors turned the ball over 10 times.

Up Next: The Warriors improved to 2-5 while Portland dropped to 3-4. The Warriors travel to Houston to face the Rockets Wednesday at 4:30 pm PT.

Kings fall to the Trail Blazers in home opener, 122-112

Photo credit: @Oregonian

By Jeremiah Salmonson

SACRAMENTO — After an unimpressive showing from the Kings on Opening Night in Phoenix, they turned to the home opener to try and get their first win. The Kings had been blown out by the Suns on Wednesday and faced a tough opponent in the Portland Trail Blazers. It is well-documented what the Blazers were able to do last season making a run in the playoffs. So, the Kings starring an 0-1 start in the face looked to turn things around in Sacramento at 7:00 PM PST.

In the first quarter, the Kings offense showed out. Unfortunately for the Kings, so did the Blazers. It was an expectedly back and forth first quarter. The Kings De’Aaron Fox and the Blazers’ Damian Lillard matched each other with 8 points apiece to lead their respective squads. Fresh off his new contract, Buddy Hield added 5 points for the Kings. The Blazers got a 6-point contribution from veteran forward Rodney Hood. At the end of the first quarter, it was 27-25 Kings on top.

In the second quarter, it was more of the same from both sides. The Trail Blazers and Kings continued to trade baskets. The Blazers got a great performance in the second quarter from Anfernee Simons, who put up 10 points. Damian Lillard continued to play well scoring another 7 points. However, the Kings and Bogdan Bogdanovic didn’t allow Portland to pull away. Bogdanovic put up 14 points on 4-6 shooting to lead the Kings to a tie going into the second half. De’Aaron Fox finished the half with 14 points and Buddy Hield had 12. The Kings and Blazers went into halftime all knotted up at 57 apiece.

In the third quarter, the Kings started to implode. Bad defense, missed shots, and turnovers led to an ugly quarter for the Kings. Portland outscored the Kings 37-27 as Hassan Whiteside dropped 16 points on the beleaguered Kings defense. De’Aaron Fox added 8 points to his game total to give him 22 through the third. Headed to the final 12 minutes, the Kings were down by 10.

In the fourth quarter, the Kings were able to keep the Blazers at bay. However, the deficit they built in the third quarter proved insurmountable. The Kings and Blazers both scored 28 points in the fourth which led to a 122-112 loss in the 2019 home opener. The Kings’ top scorer was De’Aaron Fox, who scored 28 points on 34 minutes of play. Hield scored 21 points on 31 minutes of play and Bogdan Bogdanovic dropped 16 on 28 minutes of floor time.

After the game, the overall mood was somber. The Kings came into this season with tons of optimism. Kings fans came into this season with tons of optimism. After all, the Kings had added some key role players in what they knew was an already strong core. They also changed leadership at the helm with new head coach Luke Walton, whose hoping to push the Kings over the next level. So far, that hasn’t happened. It’s still early, but the Kings need to course correct in a hurry to stay relevant this season.

The Kings travel to Utah for a back-to-back against the Jazz on Saturday evening at 6:00 PM PST.

NBA Finals podcast with David Zizmor: Warriors look like they could go all the way; Toronto or Milwaukee on deck

Photo credit: sports.yahoo.com

On the NBA Finals podcast with David Zizmor:

#1 From all the looks of it, the Golden State Warriors look like they can go all the way at this point. Talk about their possible opponents for the next round in Toronto or Milwaukee.

#2 The Warriors did it without Kevin Durant. What does that show as either the Raptors or Bucks are going into the NBA Finals?

David Zizmor does the Warriors podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Warriors overcome a 17-point deficit to sweep the Trail Blazers

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors downed the Portland Trailblazer 119-117 to sweep the Western Conference Finals. They now advance to the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive year. They join the Boston Celtics as they and the Celtics are the only teams to reach the Finals for five seasons in a row.

The Warriors won their fifth game in a row with superstar Kevin Durant on the sidelines. DeMarcus Cousins, who injured a quadriceps muscle in the series against the LA Clippers was not available either. Andre Iguodala hurt his calf in Game Three in Portland and was questionable for Monday’s game. Warriors coach Steve Kerr opted to not play Andre. Kerr made changes in the starting lineup, and they paid off as the W’s won. It was not easy as they had to do it in overtime, but they did it.

The Blazers who had a 17-point lead in game two, and an eighteen-point point in game three, were able to gain a 17-point advantage in game four. The Blazers’ Damian Lillard, who suffered a rib injury and wasn’t at his best in games 2 and 3, was determined to play better and lead his team to a win. Blazers’ head coach, Terry Stotts, shuffled his lineup and inserted seven-foot-one -inch Meyers Leonard in the lineup. Leonard, who was averaging about six points a game, had the game of his life. He scored twenty-five points in the first half and knocked down five threes.

The Warriors, without Andre Iguodala, started forwards Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie. It was the first time that either player ever started an NBA Playoff game. The Warriors were hoping the “next man up” philosophy would work and it did.

The first period was very fast and furious. Both teams raced up and down the court. There were nine lead changes in the first quarter alone. The Warriors finished the period with a slim 36-35 lead. Steph Curry had 12, and Klay Thompson added 10 to pace the Warrior attack. Portland’s Meyers Leonard put 14 on the board, and CJ McCollum had 8, and Lillard added 7.

The Blazers, behind Leonard, McCollum, and Lillard outscored the W’s 34-29 to finish the first half leading 69-65. They led by eleven 66-55 late in the second period. Steph Curry made two three and a deuce to end the half trailing 69-65.

The Blazers knew it was now or never. They knew that they had to put away the Warriors. They knew that the Warriors had come back from significant deficits in game 2 and 3. They knew that if they hoped to win, they had to shut down the W’s offense and, at the same time, find a way to break down the Warriors defense. They held Draymond Green to just two points in the first half. Without Iguodala, could Draymond do it again? He answered the question. Yes, he did it again. The Blazers led 98-78 late in the third quarter. The Warriors scored the last eight points of the quarter to trail by eight 95-87. The Warriors knew that they had work to do in the final period, but an eight-point deficit is not impossible to overcome.

Curry hit a three to start the fourth quarter. Portland hit two-threes to go up by eleven 101-90. The Warriors defense started to throttle the Blazers’ offense. The Warriors went on a 14-3 run to tie the game at 104. Portland’s Rod Hood made a bucket, but Kevon Looney countered with one of his own to tie it at 106. Draymond gave the W’s the lead 108-106. Lillard made a three and Leonard added a bucket to put Portland ahead 111-108. Klay Thompson knocked down a three to tie it, and the game went to overtime.

The Warriors fell behind 115-114. Alfonzo McKinnie made a bucket to give the W’s the lead 116-115. Draymond Green made his only three-pointer of the game to provide the W’s their most significant lead of the night 119-115. Lillard connected on a two-point shot to close the gap to two 119-117. Neither team could relax. With 3.3 seconds left, Portland had the ball. If they made a two-point bucket, they would have tied the game and forced another 5-minute overtime period. If they made a three, they would have won. The Warriors held on, and Portland could not get off a shot. The Warriors win and end the Blazers’ season.

Game Notes and Stats- The Warriors bench players all performed well in Monday night’s win. Jordan Bell had seven, Alfonzo McKinnie was in double figures with 12. Kevon Looney continued his excellent play. He had a double-double with 12 points 14 rebounds. He, again, did a superb job getting offensive rebounds. Klay Thompson had 17, and he was tasked with trying to shut down Portlands CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard. The Warriors had another first as they had two players that had a triple-double. Draymond Green, held to two points in the first half, finished the night with 18 points, 14 boards, and 11 assists. Step Curry had his fifth game in a row with 30 or more points. He tallied 37 and had 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Shay Livingston added 8, coming off the bench.

Meyers Leonard led Portland with 30 points and 12 rebounds. McCollum finished with 26. Damian Lillard had a double-double for Portland with 28 points, 4 rebounds, and 12 assists. Zach Collins was the other Blazer in double figures with 10.

The Warriors outrebounded the Blazers 55-28 The W’s had 15 offensive rebounds. Portland had six. The Warriors had 10 steals and 5 blocks.

The Warriors will now have a few days off as they await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Milwaukee Bucks lead the Series 2-1. Game four will be played in Toronto Tuesday night.