Sheesh. Even facing a team down its leading scorer, the Blazers were outmatched by yet another wily ragtag bunch of misfits, this time losing on the road to the Sacramento Kings 107-99.
Portland held a tenuous lead throughout most of the first half, but a miserable third quarter where the Kings, who played without the frenetic De’Aaron Fox, outscored the Blazers 35-21 and ultimately buried them.
A late fourth quarter run that almost closed the gap notwithstanding, this one was painful to watch.
- Still no Hood. Expectations were that Rodney Hood would make his return to the lineup after missing the past 1 3⁄4 games with back spasms, but he ended up being a late scratch. Kent Bazemore started again in his place and wasn’t bad. 12 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. You’d probably like to see more than six shots coming from your starting small forward, though, especially on a night where the bench doesn’t have much to offer.
- Cooled off. Anfernee Simons showed that he is human after all with a seemingly rare off-night. After averaging almost 16 points per game over he past five games, the youngster struggled with his shot and finished with only 5 points on 2-11 shooting. Most were looks we’re suddenly accustomed to see him knock down, so he’ll probably just move on put this dud behind him.
- Backup needed. The bench as a whole left a lot to be desired, combining for only 17 points. Even more disappointing, the loss squandered a solid if not spectacular performance by Damian Lillard (27 points, 5 assists) and a return to form for CJ McCollum (24 points, 5 rebounds).
The Blazers will get one game at home before leaving for a long six-game road trip when they host the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.