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Blazers vs. Kings Final Score: 98-94; Portland Overcomes Sacramento, Loses Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge was injured in the first quarter versus Sacramento in a Blazers win.

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Portland won a close game, but lost their biggest star to a thumb injury.

Damian Lillard had 22, and the Portland bench scored 32 points, but the Portland Trail Blazers lost LaMarcus Aldridge to a first quarter thumb injury in a 98-94 win over the Sacramento Kings at Moda Center Monday night.

The Trail Blazers started the game hot with a 7-2 run, but everything went south from there.  Rudy Gay had 11 points, DeMarcus Cousins had 8, and the Kings went on a 13-2 run to take an early double digit lead.  Lillard's struggles in the first quarter this season continued, as he went 0-for-4.  Aldridge had 10, and the Blazers closed the gap to eight with a Wesley Matthews three near the end of the quarter.

Aldridge played for three minutes in the second quarter, but apparently hurt his hand on the knee of Cousins late in the first quarter (See video here). He went to the locker room and did not return.

Meyers Leonard led the charge for Portland in the second quarter, scoring seven points to help erase the Sacramento lead.  Lillard had eight in the period, mostly from the foul line, but Sacramento recovered near the end of the quarter as Portland struggled to find a rhythm without Aldridge.  Leonard and Chris Kaman got in foul trouble, placing the Blazers in a tough bind defensively in the paint.  A late tip-in by Cousins gave the Kings a 56-51 lead at halftime.

The third quarter was devoid of offense, as the teams combined for just 35 points.  Portland shot 6-for-25 in the quarter, with Lillard, Kaman, Nicolas Batum and Matthews combining to shoot 4-for-18.  Sacramento was not much better, shooting 6-for-20.  The Kings expanded their lead to eight after three.

With Aldridge out and the starters struggling, the bench came alive.  Will Barton had six points, Thomas Robinson had five, and the Blazers rallied to take the lead.  With Portland leading 89-87, Cousins got to the free throw line to tie the game at 89, but in the following possession fouled out of the game.  Robinson missed two free throws, but the Blazers got the ball back.  Matthews missed a corner three, but Lillard rebounded for a basket and a 91-89 lead.  The Kings turned the ball over on their next possession, and Batum hit two three throws.  Ben McLemore lured Barton into a foul behind the three point line, closing the gap to one, 93-92.  On the following trip down, the Kings learned what "Lillard Time" is, when Lillard split Jason Thompson and Darren Collison for a one-handed jam.

Dorell Wright and Leonard led the bench in scoring nine.  Matthews had 17 points and 3 steals.


Post-Game Reaction

VIDEO: Wesley Matthews is given a plaque from team owner Paul Allen before the game.

VIDEO: Damian Lillard throws down a filthy dunk late in the fourth quarter.