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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Sacramento Kings Preview

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The third seed in the West is still on the line as the Trail Blazers close the 2018-2019 campaign.

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NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Sacramento Kings Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers (52-29) vs. Sacramento Kings (39-42)

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 - 7:30 p.m. PT
Blazers injuries: Jusuf Nurkic (out)
Kings injuries: Wenyen Gabriel (game-time decision), Kosta Koufos (game-time decision), Harry Giles (out)
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW, NBA League Pass (outside of Portland)
How to stream: YouTube Live TV, Playstation Vue, Hulu Live TV, FuboTV, NBA League Pass (outside of Portland)
Radio: 620 AM
SBN Affiliate: Sactown Royalty

With home-court advantage in the first round secure, the Portland Trail Blazers look to close the season strong against the Sacramento Kings. Needing a win to stay in the top four seeds in the Western Conference, the Blazers came back to stun the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night 104-101. Maurice Harkless carried the squad with 26 points, including the game-winner as time expired.

The up-and-coming Kings look forward to a lottery draft pick and a shot next year with a talented young group. They fell just short against the New Orleans Pelicans 133-129 on Monday. Second overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft Marvin Bagley had 19 points and 14 rebounds off the bench in the loss.

What to watch for

  • To rest or not to rest? It is no secret the Blazers starters could use a break. Playing a back-to-back after a hard fought game and with an absurd minutes load on Damian Lillard, resting has its merits. However, the team may choose to take destiny into its own hands and fight for the third seed and a chance to not see the Golden State Warriors until the conference finals.
  • Wake up the extras. Zach Collins, Al-Farouq Aminu, Rodney Hood, and Jake Layman shot a combined 0-for-16 against the Lakers, turning what should have been a laugher against a team missing its four leading scorers into a nail-biter. With teams now going to a playoff-style defense and pressing Lillard and Evan Turner near half court, the other players need to make them pay by hitting the resulting open shots.
  • Do not underestimate the opponent. The Kings may not have anything to play for but pride and a draft spot, but nothing is scarier than an opponent with nothing left to lose. De’Aaron Fox, Harrison Barnes, and the rest of the Kings are not just going to roll over and play dead. Portland must keep the pressure on.

What they’re saying

Babygiraffe of Sactown Royalty extolls the virtues of sophomore star De’Aaron Fox:

To the delight of Kings fans, the front office, ownership, and anyone who enjoys quality basketball, De’Aaron Fox catapulted himself into the conversation of the top-10 or top-15 point guards this season, a far cry from his rookie year in which he failed to clearly outperform fellow lottery point guards Lonzo Ball and Dennis Smith Jr.

Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee talked about a milestone in reach for Kings guard Buddy Hield:

Hield could become the first player in NBA history to make 600 3-point goals over his first three seasons in the league. Hield is tied with Blazers star Damian Lillard at 599. Lillard will be among the first to know if Hield breaks a record previously held by Klay Thompson and Kyle Korver.