The Blazers were led by Damian Lillard (17 points), Meyers Leonard (14 points, 8 rebounds), Noah Vonleh (12 points, 11 rebounds), Allen Crabbe (12 points) and Moe Harkless (14 points, 6 rebounds off the bench), who lived up to his early training camp reputation.
The first quarter was a pleasant surprise for Blazer fans reeling from the disappointing play at Fan Fest. After a close couple minutes, Portland came alive, scoring 13 straight points to take a 9 point lead. Meyers Leonard was hitting three's and rebounding, Damian Lillard was shredding defense, and the Blazers made an inspired effort on defense. They simply looked like a well-coach group of youngsters. They led 24-16 after the first quarter.
Would it continue in the second quarter? Absolutely. Portland scored 9 straight points, capped by a CJ McCollum three-pointer, to grab a 15 point lead. Tim Frazier and Moe Harkless combined for three three-pointers, and Portland pushed out to 19 points ahead. The fans were rocking in the Moda Center, as the Kings struggled to find any cohesion when their starters headed to the bench. The inevitable preseason sloppiness arrived afterward, but Sacramento struggled to make any headway. Portland led 56-41 at halftime.
In the early minutes of the third quarter, Leonard went down with an ankle injury due to an awkward collision after a jumper. As he headed to the locker room, the team struggled to hold the lead for a bit, then came alive again, using some strong defense to build a 17 point lead late in the quarter. A late Sacramento three-pointer cut the Blazer lead to 82-68 after the third quarter.
Sacramento kept things physical in the fourth, as the Blazers sat a few of their starters. When the Kings swished a three with 8:05 left, Portland called timeout, up 10. Another three immediately cut it to 7. Terry Stotts did not bring back Lillard or other starters who played 24+ minutes, allowing the players to work through their problems in a meaningless game. In fact, Stotts instead subbed in Omari Johnson. Sacramento tied it up, but Noah Vonleh kept Portland ahead with an offensive rebound and layup at the two minute mark. However, a three-pointer move the Kings into the lead with 95 seconds left. Johnson had a layup to regain the lead, but it somehow rimmed out. The Kings added a free throw, but Phill Pressey responded with a beautiful layup to tie the game. After a Kings turnover, Vonleh had a point-blank attempt... and clanked the rim with 10 seconds left. Collison missed a layup, and the teams went to overtime.
In a fun overtime, the teams played back-and-forth until the last two minutes. Vonleh limped to the locker room, and the Kings took control for the meaningless victory.
The Blazers have a few days off, and are back in action Thursday, at the Moda Center against the Golden State Warriors. Stay tuned toe Blazer's Edge though, as Peter Sampson and Dave Deckard will have more thoughts about this game overnight.