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What we learned as Kings slip in fourth, fall to Blazers

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SACRAMENTO -- It’s raining threes.

The Kings and the Portland Trail Blazers got into a good old fashion shootout Wednesday evening at Golden 1 Center. In a wild shooting performance for both clubs, the Kings knocked down a season-high 19 3-pointers. 

Unfortunately for the team in purple, they gave up a franchise-tying 23 makes from distance to the team from the Pacific Northwest.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 68 points and 23 assists as Portland erased multiple double-digit deficits to come away with a 132-126 win over the Kings.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings put on an offensive show, but couldn’t match the Blazers to fall to 5-7 on the season. 

Fox vs. Lillard

In De’Aaron Fox’s rookie season, Damian Lillard dropped a cool 50 on the Kings through three quarters of play. The five-time NBA All-Star looked like he wanted a repeat of that performance early, but he wasn’t quite ready to defend Fox on the other end.

The two point guards went at it all game long. Fox attacked the key, found his teammates and even caught fire from 3-point range. He finished with 29 points on 9-for-18 shooting to go with six assists and six rebounds. 

Lillard was dominant as well, scoring a game-high 40 points and dishing out 13 assists. These two guards play completely different styles, but they are both fun to watch when they are hitting. Lillard won both the battle and the war. 

Welcome back Buddy

Two seasons ago, Buddy Hield led the Kings in scoring, averaging 20.7 points per game. Through the first 11 games this season, the sharpshooting guard had scored 20 or more just once, which came in the first game of the 2020-21 campaign.

 

Hield was back to his old tricks against Portland. He was aggressive on both ends of the court and caught fire from distance. In 38 minutes of action, Hield lit the Blazers up for 26 points on 8-for-18 shooting from long range. 

The Kings need this Buddy Buckets to show up every game. His ability to stretch the floor makes everything work for the Kings’ offense.

Rookie highs

Tyrese Haliburton has been a game changer for the Sacramento Kings and he’s showing no signs of letting up. Against Portland, the 20-year looked cool, calm and collected against one of the best guard tandems in the league.

He turned the ball over five times, but outside of that issue, the rookie was really good once again. In 31 minutes of action he tied his career-high in scoring, with 17 and set a new career-best in assists with nine. 

If the Kings can get this kind of production from their three key guards, they are going to be difficult to contain.