Trail Blazers vs Kings Saturday, 12/08/12 AT 07:00PM

Trail Blazers Lose Rough One To Kings 99-80

  1. Written by: erikgundersen  / avg. rating: 5.0

    The Trail Blazers (8-12) had trouble getting it going offensively in the first half, but it seemed like things never turned themselves around offensively. The Kings (7-12) recorded two 30 point quarters as they cruise to a 99-80 victory at the Rose Garden. LaMarcus Aldridge led the way for Portland with 17 points and 10 boards.

    To say that this game was a slow one would be an understatement. Both teams came out to shoot in the thirties from the field and the Trail Blazers couldn't seem to take care of the ball, either. They had 9 first quarter turnovers and it also didn't help matters that they allowed the Kings to score 30 points. For Sacramento, it was the second night of a back-to-back but they were the team with the most energy.

    "Sacramento played harder and better than we did." Stotts said. "We were out of sorts offensively all night."

    "They came in, they was ready to play." Damian Lillard said. "We didn't have a lot of energy, they just outplayed us."

    The Trail Blazers only scored 18 points in the first quarter.

    The second quarter brought a little more light into the Rose Garden as Luke Babbitt started the quarter with a 6-0 run of his own to cut Sacramento's lead in half. However, after a an elbow from Meyers Leonard in that same second quarter, Babbitt didn't seem to look the same. Wesley Matthews also picked up the slack for the Trail Blazers in the scoring department. Matthews scored 10 of his 14 points in the second quarter, knocking down threes and getting to the basket. Also, their defense picked things up in a big way. They forced the Kings into tough shots and a 13 point quarter where the Kings only made three field goals. Portland shot 35 percent, but won the quarter by 10 points. The Kings lead was only two points after the Trail Blazers played so poorly in the first half. Also, looking at the shooting numbers, you had to think that they would bounce back. But unfortunately tonight, it just wasn't in the cards.

    In the third quarter, things continued at a slow pace. Much of it was due to a lot of fouls called on both teams. Damian Lillard, who only scored three points in the first half looked like he was making more of an effort to get to the rim in the third quarter. One of those drives was a thunderous slam. JJ Hickson picked things up offensively for the Trail Blazers in the third with eight points on his way to a 14 point, 15 rebound performance. However, in the third quarter, two things happened that hurt the Trail Blazers chances of coming back; when Nicolas Batum (17 minutes, five points, two rebounds) fell on a drive to the lane, aggravating his injured back and Wesley Matthews getting a hip contusion.  Portland's defense also allowed a 34-point third quarter for Sacramento. Allowing one is already a recipe for disaster, but allowing two is giving your team a very slim chance to win games, especially with Portland's two starting wing players out to injury. Matthews would return but eventually left the game again in the fourth quarter. Without Batum and Matthews' ability to spread the floor, the Kings were able to focus solely on Lillard and Aldridge.

    "It's tough (on playing without Batum and Matthews). When you have Nic and Wes on the wing, teams have to honor their ability to knock down threes and their ability to make plays for other guys," Lillard said.

    "You just hope that they are ok. You don't need those two guys out for anytime," Aldridge said. "You don't want those guys to have anything serious wrong with them."

    Batum said after the game that his back felt worse than it did before the game. Batum also said he did not know if he would be ready for the Toronto game on Monday but said he is hoping to be back when the Trail Blazers play the Spurs on Thursday night. Matthews' status for the game on Monday is also up in the air. The man known as the Iron Man currently has a 250 consecutive games played streak, which could be in jeopardy of ending.

    The fourth quarter didn't go very well for the Trail Blazers. The offense was again anemic as the fourth quarter was their second sub-20-point quarter, as they put up 15. Travis Outlaw (11 points) closed the game in the fourth, scoring seven points. Outlaw helped put the game away but double-doubles from John Salmons (19 points, 11 assists) and DeMarcus Cousins (19 points, 12 rebounds) also hurt the Trail Blazers greatly.   Without Matthews and Batum and with the lethargy that plagued the team the whole game, there was no hope of another comeback tonight.

    "I think we might have relaxed a little bit because we're finally home in front of our crowd. But they just outplayed us," Lillard said.

    Portland's next game will be Monday night against the Toronto Raptors (4-15) at 7PM. That game will air on CSNNW and can be heard on 1190 AM and 102.3 FM.

    Also, don't miss these highlight calls from Brian Wheeler from tonight's game!

    Wesley Matthews with the slam dunk.
    Matthews' three to tie the game.

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This photo: Batum Takes It To The Kings / put this photo on your page

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