Stop me if you've heard this one: The Portland Trail Blazers play in lackluster fashion on the road, giving away a winnable game to the Sacramento Kings. At the end of the season, the Blazers will have plenty of games to regret when they see their record.
The Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge (26 points, 13 rebounds) and Raymond Felton (15 points, 10 assists). Jamal Crawford and Kurt Thomas also scored in double digits. The player of the game was SB Network, mercifully cutting off the Gameday Thread before the Blazer meltdown completed.
In the first half, the Blazers and Kings fought back and forth early. But soon, it was dunks ahoy for Aldridge, as the Blazers moved into the lead. Slowly and methodically, the lead reached double-digits, but they simply couldn't pull away. Blame the road, credit the Kings, but Sacramento stayed close. Portland closed with a 9 point halftime lead.
That lead evaporated early in the third, as Portland's lackadasical play (5 points in the first 6 minutes) cost them the lead. Too many outside shots, too many three pointers against the shot clock, too many missed free throws (3-10 compared to Sacramento's 16-20), too much Kings defense, it all added up. Nate finally took a timeout with the score tied, but the Kings pushed into the lead shortly after. They outscored the Blazers 24-13 to take a 2 point lead into the fourth.
Craig Smith's travel and a Kings three added up to an ominous start to the fourth quarter. The lead reached 7 before the Blazers slowly tried to crawl back in. An offensive rebound by Aldridge led to a Crawford three to regain the lead, as the Kings went cold. However, a botched 3-on-1 Blazer fast break stopped the run cold. Within seconds, Marcus Thornton scored 5 points as the Kings regained the lead. A Blazer steal led to a beautiful pass from Felton to Aldridge for a layup, tying the game with 3 minutes left. However, ANOTHER botched fast break led to Sacramento regaining the lead, this time for good. The Blazers got a steal and a chance to tie, but missed two three pointers at the buzzer.
Don't bother reading the box score, and stay tuned for Dave's recap, if SBNation stays online. The Blazers have a night off to ponder yet another ugly road loss, then play at home against the surging Denver Nuggets Saturday night. -- Tim