(Sports Network) - The Portland Trail Blazers return home after a long trip
Saturday night when they host the Sacramento Kings at the Rose Garden.
The Blazers went 2-5 on their trip east, highlighted by wins in Charlotte and
Cleveland. Their last game on the sojourn saw them go down to the Indiana
"I think we're a resilient team," said reigning Western Conference Rookie of
the Month, Damian Lillard. "We dropped the first four games, the first two we
could have easily won. But on the other hand, the two that we won were in
overtime and we could have dropped all seven. But I think it was good for us
going through some growing pains, kind of like it's been the whole season."
Against the Pacers, the Blazers held a two-point lead at the half, but Indiana
flew out of the gate in the third quarter and won the frame 31-14. Portland
won the final quarter 28-20, but it wasn't enough.
The Blazers are 4-3 at home this season. They are getting spectacular
production from Lillard (19.3 ppg/6.3 apg) and LaMarcus Aldridge (20.7 ppg/8.0
rpg). The other three starters, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews and J.J.
Hickson, are all putting up double-figuring scoring seasons, but the bench has
not been performing. Meyers Leonard leads reserves in scoring at 5.0 ppg.
While Portland returns home for six straight, Sacramento will play the first
of four in a row on the road looking for its first victory this season as the
guest. The Kings are 0-6 on the road, but swept a quick two-game homestand to
notch consecutive wins for only the second time this season and for the first
time since Nov. 5-7.
Sacramento followed up a seven-point win over Toronto by besting the Orlando
Magic 91-82 on Friday. DeMarcus Cousins had 17 points and 14 rebounds, while
Isaiah Thomas ended with 17 points.
Jimmer Fredette scored 15, Jason Thompson poured in 12 and Aaron Brooks
contributed 11 for the Kings, who will try to win three straight for the first
time this season.
"It feels great to just continue to go out there, play well, play hard and
ultimately try to get wins. That's what it's all about," said Fredette.
The Kings, though, played for a third time in four games without guard Tyreke
Evans, who missed Friday's contest with a sore left knee and is questionable
for this one. Evans is averaging 15.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists in
15 games this season.
The Blazers are 12-3 in their last 15 against the Kings, including a 103-86
win at Sacramento on Nov. 13. Lillard had 22 points and nine assists in the
Portland has won seven of its past nine at home in this series.
The Sports Network