The Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge's 22 points and 14 rebounds, with support from Wesley Matthews (21 points, 3-5 from three), Robin Lopez (12 points and 10 rebounds) and Nicolas Batum (12 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists). Damian Lillard (4 points on 1-15 FG's, 6 assists, 6 rebounds) struggled with his shot all night, but Mo Williams (8 points, 5 assists) helped pick up the slack. And Joel Freeland had yet another good stint off the bench.
First, a recap of today's pregame locker room drama:
First Quarter: A strange quarter. Both teams seemed to shoot well from the field, but neither team scored a lot of points. This may be related to the Blazers' complete inability to get the ball into the net from the free throw line. Aldridge took control early, though, using various techniques to score on overwhelmed Kings defenders. A late Dorell Wright three-pointer put the Blazers ahead to close the quarter.
Portland 21, Sacramento 18
Is it just me or you guys also cant access nba.com?
NEW YORK (AP) -- November 10, 2013 -- Tragedy struck the popular website "NBA.com" last night, when a shipment of Gatorade delivered to the site’s headquarters was imbibed despite the contents being slightly past their "best by" date. Names of the many dead are being withheld as family members are notified.
Second Quarter: Joel Freeland made his presence known early, with strong defense, multiple offensive rebounds, and an assist for a three-pointer. The Blazers quickly leaped to a 9 point lead, and the Kings needed a timeout. Portland's bench couldn't keep their momentum, and the energetic Kings started swishing from the perimeter (including two Ben McLemore three's) to cut the lead to three. The bench held their own until the starters returned... two minutes later, the Blazer lead was 11, and the dominant nearly-drank-expired-Gatorade Aldridge already had a double-double. Just like last night, the Kings never let the Blazers get too far ahead, though.
Portland 45, Sacramento 38
I dont think anyone will be trying to give Aldridge expired Gatorade anymore.
Third Quarter: The Kings's poor shooting prevented a run to open the second half, but at the other end, Matthews and Batum hit back-to-back three-pointers, forcing the Kings to take a timeout down 12. Sacramento came out of the timeout energized on defense, and quickly pushed the Blazer lead down to 8. But, on the second night of a home-and-home, they looked tired, and Portland took advantage. The Blazer lead reached 17 as the bench subbed in, and they held on nicely.
Portland 69, Sacramento 54
What's with these Gatorade references?
Fourth Quarter: The Blazers easily held serve, keeping the once 20-point lead in the mid-teens until the halfway point of the quarter, when the Kings made one last push to steal a victory. They cut the lead to 13 to force a Blazer timeout. It didn't help, as a DeMarcus Cousins three-point play cut the lead to 10. A turnover gave the Kings a layup to cut the lead to 8, and bring the crowd to their feet. Another botched Blazer play helped Sacramento cut the lead to 7. Suddenly Cousins couldn't miss, and the Kings went to him on nearly every possession. However, the Blazers hit enough shots to keep a 7 point lead with 2 minutes left. Then, on a break, Batum calmly stopped at three-point line and launched a shot with 20 seconds on the shot. Swish, and he walked away like a gunslinger who just won a duel. With 90 seconds left, the Kings had no bullets left in their six-shooter.
Stay tuned for Dave's analysis of tonight's game, then join us for Monday night's game, as the Pistons visit Portland. -- Tim