After letting one slip right through their fingers on Thursday night, the Sacramento Kings have no time to feel sorry for themselves. Before taking a much needed four-day break, they face the Portland Trail Blazers Friday night at the Moda Center on the second night of a back-to-back.
Sacramento squandered a 19-point first half lead against a young upstart Lakers team and then crumbled down the stretch. Inefficient offense plagued them throughout the night and their inability to get a big stop when they needed it proved to be their undoing.
Following Thursday’s game, the Kings allocated their three rookie first-round picks -- Georgios Papagiannis, Skal Labissiere and Malachi Richardson -- to the Reno Bighorns. The trio are expected to spend plenty of time in the D-League this season.
Portland is coming off a 111-80 drubbing at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers. They are led by the dynamic backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum who combine to score 51.2 points per game, but coach Terry Stotts has plenty of other scoring options to turn to if his guards go cold.
Trail Blazers by 6.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Kings vs. themselves -- Portland is a quality team on the second night of a back-to-back, but so were the Toronto Raptors. Sacramento is still working to find an identity early in the season, but they need to show some resiliency if they hope to be anything more than a 30-35 win lottery team.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 4-6, fourth place in Pacific
Trail Blazers: 5-4, third place in Northwest
Kings: No injuries to report.
Trail Blazers: F Al-Farouq Aminu (left calf strain) out, Festus Ezeli (left knee) out.
The Blazers have owned the Kings of late, winning seven straight, including a four-game sweep last season. During the Sacramento-era, Portland holds an 86-45 advantage and they lead the Kings 127-76 all-time.
“We’ve just got to play for 48 minutes. We can’t take our foot off the gas. We have to have more of a killer instinct.” -- Matt Barnes following the Kings’ loss to the Lakers