The streak is over. Sacramento rattled off four consecutive wins coming into Wednesday night’s contest against the Trail Blazers, but they came out lethargic against Portland and got smacked around.
With leading scorer Damian Lillard sidelined, multiple players stepped forward for Portland as they dispatched the Kings by a final of 102-89.
C.J. McCollum started at the point guard spot for Lillard and didn’t miss a beat. The former Lehigh star finishing with 20 points and seven assists in the win, but he struggled from the field, hitting just 6-of-17 for the game.
Meyers Leonard talked a big game after getting manhandled by DeMarcus Cousins last week, but he backed it up Wednesday against the Kings. Leonard got it going from the perimeter, hitting 3-for-6 from long range on his way to 16 points and five rebounds.
Allen Crabbe hit the Kings for 13 points starting alongside McCollum. Mo Harkless scored 12 points and grabbed four rebounds. Mason Plumlee flew in for a big 12-point, 14-rebound double-double and Evan Turner added 11 points to help the Blazers snap their six game losing streak.
Cousins couldn’t find a flow and neither could most of his teammates in a statement game in Portland. The Kings’ All-Star center finished the night with 28 points on 8-for-19 shooting. He managed to grab eight rebounds and hand out six assists, but Sacramento needed more from its star big.
Garrett Temple played well enough to earn a second half start. The veteran wing scored 14 points on 6-for-13 shooting as one of the few Kings players that could find the hoop.
Matt Barnes added 13 points and five rebounds starting for the injured Rudy Gay and Ty Lawson chipped in eight points, but on 2-of-8 shooting as Sacramento fell to 14-18 on the season.
Leonard was part of the group that allowed Cousins to go off for 55 points and 13 rebounds last week in Sacramento. Leonard looked like a completely different player on his home floor, coming away with 16 points and a huge win against one of the game’s best bigs in Cousins.
Sacramento came out flat and trailed the Blazer from the opening quarter. Portland kept the Kings at arms length for most of the night and finished off their Western Conference foe down the stretch.
Rudy Gay missed his seventh game in eight chances with a right hip flexor strain. The 28-year-old re-aggravated the injury in the waning moments of the 76ers game on Monday and underwent an MRI. Arron Afflalo missed his second straight with an elbow strain. Both players are listed as day-to-day going forward.
The Kings return home for a Saturday matinee at Golden 1 Center against the Memphis Grizzlies. They travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets Monday night, but then come home for seven straight.