The Portland Trail Blazers backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum was too much for the Kings to overcome as the Blazers knocked off Sacramento, 102-90, Saturday night at Moda Center.
Lillard (22 points, six assists) and McCollum (25 points, four assists) outplayed the combination of Garrett Temple (no points, two assists) and De’Aaron Fox (11 points, two assists).
Portland (9-7) also got 14 points from center Jusuf Nurkic.
Willie Cauley-Stein led the Kings (4-12) with 18 points. The Kings shot just 38.2 percent while the Blazers shot 54.3 percent.
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Here are three takeaways from the game:
Reversal of second-unit fortunes
After a major boost from the second unit in Friday’s 86-82 win, the Kings didn’t have nearly the same spark off the bench in Portland. Conversely, the Blazers bench was vital thanks to the likes of Shabazz Napier, Pat Connaughton and Meyers Leonard, who helped turn the game in Portland’s favor in the second quarter. Not having Buddy Hield (sprained right ankle) certainly hurt the offensive output from Sacramento’s bench.
Though Cauley-Stein finished with good numbers off the bench, he and the second unit did not have the same impact as in Friday’s victory.
Trying to spark Bogdanovic
Without Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic was a focal point of the offense off the bench. He scored 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting. The field goal attempts marked his second most of the season, topped only by the 15 shots he took in his season debut Oct. 23 at Phoenix.
The Kings need his offense whether he’s starting or not, and lately that hasn’t been something they can count on.
Saturday was the first time Bogdanovic had scored in double figures since he scored 14 on Nov. 4 at Detroit.
Scoring doesn’t come easy for the Kings, so they cannot afford to not get more from Bogdanovic.
Looking for his shot
Skal Labissiere is shooting 1-for-15 in two games since returning to the starting lineup. He’d gone from starting to out of the rotation to back to starting in the last few weeks, so it’s not surprising he looks shaky on offense.
It appears the Kings will stick with him in the starting lineup for now, but he’ll have to break out of his shooting slump to stay on the floor. He only played 11 minutes Saturday.