Instant Analysis: Cauley-Stein shines in Kings' win over the Blazers
Mixing it up. After one of the worst performances in franchise history last time out, Dave Joerger changed up his starting lineup and found paydirt. With De’Aaron Fox and Skal Labissiere joining the first team, the spacing on the floor improved and so did the team’s effort.
Sacramento clamped down on the defensive end and received contributions from every player that stepped on the floor as they snapped their three-game losing streak with a 86-82 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Willie Cauley-Stein took his demotion in stride and came off the bench with a purpose. The third-year big made a tremendous impact in 30 minutes of action, finishing the night with 22 points, 10 rebounds, a steal and a block.
STANDOUT PERFORMER II
Some nights a team just miss shots. That wasn’t the case for Portland Friday night at Golden 1 Center. The Kings flew all over the court and played tremendous team defense, holding the Blazers to just 37 percent shooting from the field while forcing 17 turnovers.
Cauley-Stein ripped down a huge rebound with 3.4 seconds remaining and hit 1-of-2 from the line to give Sacramento a four point lead and the win.
Buddy Hield went down in the fourth quarter and had to be helped to the locker room with a sprained right ankle. He did not return to the game. Vince Carter missed his fifth straight game with kidney stones. Harry Giles is out until January at the earliest due to bilateral knee rehab.
The Kings play the same Blazers Saturday night in Portland on the second night of a back-to-back. They return home Monday for the first game of a three-game homestand against the Nuggets, Lakers and Clippers.