Trail Blazers vs Kings Monday, 10/15/12 AT 07:00PM

Preseason Record Falls To 1-2 With Loss To Kings

  1. Written by: caseyholdahl  / avg. rating: 4.0

    The Portland Trail Blazers dropped to below .500 for the exhibition season after losing to 117-100 to the Kings in Sacramento. Portland is now 1-2 for the preseason.

    Rookie Damian Lillard led Portland in scoring with 20 points in 28 minutes. LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 16 points and seven rebounds and Nicolas Batum turned in a 14-point, 6-rebound, 5-assist performance in a game-high 36 minutes.

    The Kings had six players score in double figures, led by Marcus Thorton with 24 points on 8 of 11 shooting. DeMarcus Cousins, now in his third season out of Kentucky, looked unstoppable in the paint, scoring 20 points in 23 minutes with little effort.

    Head coach Terry Stotts used Monday night's game as a chance to work in a new zone defense. The Kings responded by shooting 55 percent from the field and 50 percent from three. Much of the damage was done in the paint, with the Kings outscoring the Trail Blazers 58-34 in the paint.

    Stotts also took the low-stakes opportunity to experiment with using players at different positions and in various lineups. Joel Freeland got the start at center, though played just 13 minutes, ending the game with two points and four rebounds. JJ Hickson, coming off the bench for the first time in the 2012 preseason, turned in a solid night with 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes.

    Portland trailed by 20 points going into the second half, and while they put together a few promising runs, including a stretch to start third quarter that saw Lillard and Batum combine to hit five three-pointers in under four minutes, Sacramento  never seemed seriously threatened.

    Portland, having played their first three preseason games on the road, now return home to play three-straight at the Rose Garden. FIrst up, the Nuggets on Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 PM.

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This photo: Hickson Flies In For Two / put this photo on your page

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