The Sacramento Kings are finding ways to win. They take a four-game win streak into Portland Wednesday night looking to gain some much needed separation from the Trail Blazers in the standings.
The last time these two teams faced off, DeMarcus Cousins was ejected from the game in the final seconds. Cousins was summoned back to the court in one of the strangest sequences in recent memory. He finished the Blazers off at the free throw stripe and followed it up with a huge defensive stop to seal the victory.
Losers of six straight, the Blazers are spiraling. All-Star point guard Damian Lillard is doubtful with an ankle injury, but his backcourt mate has shown the ability to carry the scoring load in the past. C.J. McCollum posted 35 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists against the Kings on Dec. 27 of last year while Lillard was out. Portland is a different team without their star guard, but they are still very dangerous.
Kings by 1
MATCHUP TO WATCH
DeMarcus Cousins vs. Meyers Leonard -- These two went at each other last time they faced off, both on the floor and in the media. Cousins got the best of Leonard in the stats department, dropping 55 points and 13 rebounds on the 7-footer. Leonard picked up five fouls and finished the night scoreless in 19 minutes of action. He had harsh words for Cousins following the game, while the Kings’ star big acted like he didn’t even know who Leonard was when asked about him.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 14-17, third place in Pacific
Trail Blazers: 13-20, fourth place in Northwest
Kings: SF Rudy (hip flexor), SG Arron Afflalo (elbow sprain) are out.
Trail Blazers: PG Damian Lillard (ankle) doubtful, C Festus Ezeli (knee) out.
The Kings snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Blazers last week, coming from behind to beat Portland by a final of 126-122 at Golden 1 Center. During the Sacramento-era, Portland holds an 87-46 advantage and they lead the Kings 128-77 all-time.
“It’s going to be like a playoff atmosphere because we’re fighting with them for the eighth spot and also, the last game was kind of rough, so we’ll see how we do.” -Ty Lawson on facing the Trail Blazers