FOURTH QUARTER (Portland 88, Kings 81)
PORTLAND, Ore. - I've got to run to the locker room, but enjoy these nightmarish offensive numbers - click here if you dare.
THIRD QUARTER (Portland 73, Kings 62)
Five turnovers and the continuation of inefficient offense hurt the Kings in the third.
They went on a 14-4 run to cut the Blazers' lead to 58-56, but Andres Nocioni - who started in Donte' Greene's spot to start the second half - blew a layup and Tyreke Evans was stripped on a fastbreak layup attempt as momentum switched. I know that's extra brief and all, but I need to watch this action.
SECOND QUARTER (Portland 52, Kings 42)
Everyone was getting involved for the Kings - even Garrett Temple.
The rookie point guard playing on a 10-day contract drove baseline and hit a layup that put the Kings 33-31, but it has been all downhill from there for the visiting team. Portland tore off a 9-0 run, with a Rudy Fernandez three-pointer starting it and a Juwan Howard dunk finishing it.
The Kings have fallen behind in the all-important boards battle (23-21), with LaMarcus Aldridge grabbing all five of his rebounds in the second quarter. Three-time All-Star Brandon Roy has 10 points to lead the Blazers, who are shooting 46.7 percent and didn't have any turnovers in the second quarter. The Kings - who are stagnant offensively and allergic to the notion of passing more than twice in a set - are shooting just 43.9 percent. Carl Landry has a team-high 10 points, while Tyreke Evans and Beno Udrih have nine points apiece.
FIRST QUARTER (Kings 29, Portland 25)
The Kings are winning with their rebounding.
How many times do you here that about this team? Not often, but that is indeed the case as their control of the glass (13-10) helped them come back from a terrible start in which they trailed 12-2.
There were rebounds to be had, of course, as Portland missed eight of nine shots at one point after hitting six of their first seven to start the game. Kings center Spencer Hawes - whose play is so integral to this team's success or failure - has started off well against the likes of Marcus Camby and Juwan Howard. He has five points, four rebounds and two blocks, while the Kings' scoring has come largely from Carl Landry and Beno Udrih (combined 15 points).
The Blazers' Brandon Roy has eight points, while LaMarcus Aldridge has six.
We're a little more than a half hour from tipoff here, but I needed to clarify something real quickly before we get going.
Unbeknownst to me when I wrote this morning's Gameday blog, Ime Udoka is inactive because he is hurt. That wasn't mentioned at shootaround when coach Paul Wespthal said he was inactive. But in all fairness, I didn't ask either.
He has a sprained left knee and left ankle suffered Sunday against Oklahoma City, and is day to day. In other news, Kings rookie guard Tyreke Evans went on KHTK this afternoon to apologize for his comments made to The Bee after the loss to the Thunder on Sunday.
He vented about the rapid-firing ways of Andres Nocioni in the fourth quarter, but has since come to the conclusion that he didn't handle it properly. I'll have more on that in tomorrow's paper, but figured it was worth mentioning now. Otherwise, let the game begin...