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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Sacramento Kings Preview

Portland looks to make a comeback on home court.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers (28-36) vs. Sacramento Kings (27-35)

March 7, 2020 - 7:00 p.m. PT
Blazers injuries: Rodney Hood (out), Zach Collins (out), Jusuf Nurkic (out)
Kings injuries: Richaun Holmes (out), Marvin Bagley III (out)
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW
How to stream: Blazer’s Edge Streaming Guide
Radio: 620 AM
SBN Affiliate: Sactown Royalty

The Portland Trail Blazers return home following a loss to the Phoenix Suns 127-117. CJ McCollum was the leading scorer for Portland with 25 points. In his second game back from injury, Damian Lillard contributed 24 points, and Hassan Whiteside tipped in 23 along with 20 rebounds for a double-double.

The Sacramento Kings arrive in Portland after a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers 125-108. De’Aaron Fox scored 23 points, leading the Kings, while Buddy Hield had 22. It marked the first loss for the Kings in a four-game span.

What to watch for

Tired legs. CJ McCollum played 39 minutes. Damian Lillard played 38 in his second game back from a groin injury. Hassan Whiteside played 40. After a down-and-back on top of a back-to-back, it’s understandable that the Blazers would be exhausted. Lillard visibly struggled against the Suns until the fourth quarter. It remains to be seen if there is anything left in the tank.

Bench contributions. Right now, the bench really has to step up. Given how the Blazers leaned on their starters against the Suns, they desperately need some help from their young bench. The bench has struggled this year, but a big game from Anfernee Simons would go a long way toward making Rip City feel better.

Must-win. There’s no doubt about it: this is a must-win. Sacramento is in a similar position, which makes them a tough opponent to face. The court will likely have an air of desperation about it—on both sides.

What they’re saying

Greg over at Sactown Royalty acknowledges that the Kings need to bounce back:

The Kings are operating on a razor-thin margin. There’s no room for error, and the Kings made an error. They lost a game that was set up for a win, with the Sixers missing Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Josh Richardson. The chance was there, and the Kangz showed up instead of the Kings.