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Portland suffers fourth consecutive road loss

  1. Written by: KevinHudson

    The Portland Trail Blazers conceded their fourth consecutive road loss Thursday, falling 95-92 to the Sacramento Kings in front of 11,740 at Power Balance Pavilion.

    Three of those four road losses have come to teams with sub-.500 records in Detroit (4-20), Golden State (8-12) and Sacramento (7-15), while the Trail Blazers road record has fallen to 3-9 on the season.

    "It was self-destruction, that’s all I can say. We had this game," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "We really had control of this game, but in the second half we lost control. We had some big turnovers, one-on-one play; no ball movement. When you have all those things in a game, you will probably lose."

    LaMarcus Aldridge came out on fire, making his first six shots to help Portland (13-10) to a 30-27 first quarter lead which grew to 43-30 early in the second quarter via an 11-0 run sparked by the Trail Blazers bench unit.

    Portland's bench outscored Sacramento's reserves 30-17 on the night, led by Jamal Crawford with 17 points and Kurt Thomas with 10 points and five rebounds.

    Sacramento (7-15) countered with an immediate 10-0 run to cut the lead to 43-40, then Aldridge scored seven of the Trail Blazers next nine points and Wesley Matthews hit two consecutive shots before halftime for a 56-47 Portland lead at the break.

    Aldridge led all scorers and rebounders with 28 points and 14 boards on the night. Raymond Felton also notched a double-double for the Trail Blazers with 15 points and 10 assists while adding four rebounds and three of Portland's 12 steals in the game.

    The Trail Blazers came out cold in the second half and scored just 13 points in the third quarter. Sacramento took advantage, clawing its way to a 63-63 tie on a Tyreke Evans dunk with 3:40 left in the third and taking a 71-69 edge over Portland headed into the final period.

    "We didn’t play together. We walked the ball up court too many times when we had an opportunity to have numbers," McMillan said of his team's second-half performance. "We started jacking up jump shots when we didn’t have to do that. We’ve had control of these types of games and we didn’t close the game."

    The Kings lead swelled to seven points on a John Salmons three-pointer and an Isaiah Thomas jumper to open the fourth quarter but Portland fought its way back to take the lead when Crawford's three-pointer capped a 12-3 run that put the Trail Blazers up 81-79 midway through the period.

    The lead was short-lived, as Marcus Thornton's three-pointer and driving layup had the home team back in the lead 84-81 with five minutes left to play.

    An Aldridge layup from Felton tied the game at 88-88 with three minutes remaining but the Kings would score the next five points, then hang on for the final margin as Portland rained down three-point attempts to no avail as time expired.

    "It shows how far away we are," Crawdford said of the loss. "We have every opportunity and we had every opportunity in the last few road games and we find ways to lose it."

    Thornton led the Kings with 20 points, followed by Salmons with 19 points, eight rebounds and Evans with 18 points, five rebounds and five assists. Jason Thompson chipped in 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting while leading Sacramento with 12 rebounds for the Kings lone double-double.

    Portland returns home to face the Denver Nuggets Saturday, 7 p.m., available locally on Comcast SportsNet (Comcast channel 37) and 750 AM The Game.

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