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Portland Trail Blazers at Sacramento Kings Preview

Portland goes back on the road to try and take down a struggling Kings squad.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Sacramento Kings Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers (4-6) at Sacramento Kings (3-6)

November 12, 2019 - 7:00 p.m. PT
Blazers injuries: Zach Collins (out), Jusuf Nurkic (out), Pau Gasol (questionable), Rodney Hood (probable), Hassan Whiteside (probable)
Kings injuries: Dewayne Dedmon (probable) Marvin Bagley III (out), De’Aaron Fox (out)
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW
How to stream: Blazer’s Edge Streaming Guide
Radio: 620 AM
SBN Affiliate: Sactown Royalty

Fresh off getting their first win at home this season, the Portland Trail Blazers take to the road for one game in Sacramento to try and get back towards .500. It was a struggle for most of the night against the pesky Atlanta Hawks, but the Blazers pulled off the win in overtime 124-113. Damian Lillard had 30 points, and Kent Bazemore hit some key shots in the extra period against his former squad to secure the victory.

Sacramento also took care of business against Atlanta their last time out, winning 121-109 at home. Buddy Hield had 22 points, and Bogdan Bogdanovic contributed 20 off the bench to overcome a hot night from Trae Young.

What to watch for

  • Winning the guard battle. De’Aaron Fox is out for the game, but Portland needs to contain Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic, especially from range. Forcing the Kings into the paint bodes better for an already-stretched-thin Portland defense.
  • Will the real CJ McCollum please stand up? McCollum has struggled mightily to start this season, ranking 157th out of 188 qualified players in shooting. In the month of November, he is 4-of-24 from three. Damian Lillard has done a commendable job holding the line, but McCollum needs to take a big step forward if the Blazers want to remain competitive. Sacramento might be the team to do it against with Hield’s defense being questionable.
  • Win the first quarter. The Blazers have started games slow as of late, trailing after the first quarter in each of their last five games. Getting out to a hot start and allowing the starters time to rest would be a huge boon for Portland.

What they’re saying

Greg of Sactown Royalty examines the Kings lineup when star big man Marvin Bagley returns:

Will the Kings immediately insert Bagley into the starting lineup, or will Walton bring him back off the bench for a game or two? If Bagley returns as a starter, is it Holmes or Bjelly moving to the bench? Neither player has earned a demotion. Bagley’s skill set is more similar to that of Holmes, at least on the offensive end. But a lineup with Bagley and Bjelica would struggle to defend opposing bigs.

Brenden Nunes of A Royal Pain raves about Kings two-way player Kyle Guy:

Kyle Guy was far from shy, shooting a combined 27 three-point attempts in his first two contests (in the G-League). He shot 17 threes in game two of the season. It’s just what he does. And he made a total of 10, equating to a 37% rate, an encouraging number acknowledging the absurd volume.