SACRAMENTO -- The Kings took care of business on their home court Monday evening, posting a quality 115-107 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. The win was the third straight and fourth in the last five games for Sacramento, who now head out on the road for a brutal 12-day trip across the country.
It wasn't a wire-to-wire success like Saturday's game against the Hornets, but the Kings took control in the first half and fended off a late charge by Portland. After a rough patch to start January, the Kings are showing a newfound ability to close out games.
The win pushed Sacramento two games over the .500 mark at 23-21. Here are the positives and the negatives from the win.
With time off between games all week, the Kings focused on shoring up their defense. The work paid dividends against a tough Trail Blazers team.
Sacramento held Portland to 40.2 percent shooting from the field and 33.3 percent from behind the arc to come away with the win.
The Kings made a concerted effort to slow both Jusuf Nurkic and C.J. McCollum and it paid off. After crushing Sacramento in the previous matchup, Nurkic finished with a modest six points and 11 rebounds. McCollum was limited to 2-of-14 from the field for six points.
In a continuing trend, the Kings are getting productivity up and down the lineup. Against Portland, it was a group of reserves that made a tremendous impact on the outcome of the game.
Bogdan Bogdanovic led the way with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting off the bench, but he wasn't the only one of the bench mob to produce.
The young bigs went to work. Marvin Bagley posted a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double before fouling out late. Harry Giles scored 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting and added four rebounds, two assists and a block in 19 minutes.
Justin Jackson hit three 3-pointers, including a pair in the fourth quarter while the game was undecided. Yogi Ferrell chipped in six points to round out the production from the reserves.
Sacramento's second unit totaled 58 of the team's 115 points on the evening.
Lillard Goes Off
Damian Lillard is one of the better scoring guards in the league. He's a tough cover for any team, especially when he goes into attack mode late in a game.
Lillard finished with 35 points on 11-of-27 shooting from the field and 4-for-12 from behind the arc. He was a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line and dished out five assists.
He attempted to take over the game in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 points for Portland, but the Kings made life difficult, holding him to 2-of-7 shooting in the final 12 minutes of play.
While Lillard led the Blazers in scoring, he had an inefficient scoring output and turned the ball over six times.
Needing a solid showing at home before heading out for a season-long six-game trip, the Kings looked focused on the task at hand.
The Pistons, Hornets, and Trail Blazers were all playing on the second night of back-to-backs, but they are all quality veteran teams in the playoff hunt.
With the sweep at home, the Kings improved to 14-10 at Golden 1 Center this season. They'll take some momentum out on the road, where they are 9-11 through 20 games.