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‘It’s kind of a mess’: Kings’ offense stagnates while Lillard dominates for Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, center, shoots over Sacramento Kings guards Buddy Hield, right, and De'Aaron Fox, left, in Portland, Ore., Tuesday.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, center, shoots over Sacramento Kings guards Buddy Hield, right, and De'Aaron Fox, left, in Portland, Ore., Tuesday. AP

Portland All-Star guard Damian Lillard posted game highs of 26 points and 12 assists to lead the Trail Blazers past the Kings 116-99, Tuesday night at Moda Center.

The Kings (18-43) have lost five in a row and 9 of 11.

Zach Randolph led Sacramento with 20 points. Willie Cauley-Stein had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Portland (35-26) shot 52.4 percent, including 15 of 34 from the 3-point line. The Trail Blazers also got 17 points and nine rebounds from center Jusuf Nurkic. Portland had a season-high 20 fast-break points.

The Kings shot just 44.3 percent.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Another run-stopper?

Randolph was back in the lineup after sitting out Monday’s loss to Minnesota. Randolph knows how to find his offense in any situation, which makes him trusted in key situations.

Cauley-Stein wants to be that player, but it’s clear the Kings still have work to do in developing another go-to option during the final 21 games of the season.

Keep it moving

The Kings have a collection of young players trying to prove themselves. Sometimes that leads to players not trusting the pass and attacking against a set defense.

“The way our offense is, you’re going to have the first shot, but you’re going to have that shot again off of three more passes,” Cauley-Stein said. “You’re going to have the same play, but where they just can’t stand there, and it’s just like no movement and it’s kind of a mess.”

Defensive mix-ups

Poor communication contributes to defensive breakdowns and can allow a team like the Blazers to take advantage with 3-point shooting.

The Kings did a good job of forcing turnovers (18) and scoring off them (24), but Portland’s hot shooting was too much to overcome.

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.

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