CJ McCollum

Kings takeaways: What we learned in 127-116 loss to Trail Blazers


Kings takeaways: What we learned in 127-116 loss to Trail Blazers


PORTLAND -- Short-handed and overmatched, the Sacramento Kings competed well, but came up empty Wednesday evening against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Bogdan Bogdanovic missed the game with a right knee contusion, leaving the Kings without three of their top six rotational players. The reserves fought the good fight, but in the end, they ran out of gas, falling by a final of 127-116 for the 12th straight loss at the Moda Center.  

Here are three takeaways as the Kings made it a game in Portland, but fell to 8-12 on the season.  

Battle at the five

Richaun Holmes and Hassan Whiteside went to war in the post. 

Holmes finished with a career-high 28 points on 11-for-14 shooting. He added 10 rebounds to pick up his seven double-double of the season. 

Whiteside pounded his former team with 22 points on 8-for-10 shooting and chipped in 16 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks. 

While neither was able to slow the other, it was an entertaining matchup between two highly efficient bigs. 

Advantage: Holmes

Battle at the two

While Holmes and Whiteside were duking it out in the post, a couple of guards caught fire from long range.

Buddy Hield struggled early, going 1-of-7 to open the night. He shot his way out of the slump in the first quarter, finishing the first 12 minutes with 14 points on 6-for-13 shooting. 

Hield kept scoring throughout the night, dropping in 23 points to go with seven assists, six rebounds and a pair of steals.

On the Portland side, CJ McCollum had a huge game. The Blazers starting shooting guard dropped in 33 points on 14-for-22 shooting and all of his career-high four blocks came against Hield in the first half.

Advantage: McCollum

Team effort

The Kings are beat up. De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley continue to miss games, but against Portland, they were without Bogdan Bogdanovic as well. 

While it came in a losing effort, Yogi Ferrell, Nemanja Bjelica and Trevor Ariza were all impactful when they stepped on the floor. 

Ferrell was an offensive spark plug, scoring 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting off the bench. 

In his second game back with the team after an extended absence, Ariza added 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks. 

Bjelica stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal.

Kings notes: Bogdan Bogdanovic out, draft misses and familiar faces


Kings notes: Bogdan Bogdanovic out, draft misses and familiar faces

PORTLAND -- After a rough showing Monday evening against the Chicago Bulls, the Sacramento Kings are in need of a bounce-back game Wednesday. They’ll take on the Portland Trail Blazers to kick off a four-game road trip that will include stops in San Antonio, Dallas and Houston over the next week.

The Blazers aren’t the same team that ran the Kings over in the first week of the season. They also aren’t the same team that Sacramento beat 107-99 in the second week of November. 

Coach Terry Stotts’ team continues to evolve after a surprisingly bad start to the season. They have added a marquee name in Carmelo Anthony and new faces are earning time in the rotation.

The Kings under head coach Luke Walton are making strides as well. After an 0-5 start to the season, they’ve posted an 8-6 record and they’ve climbed back into the chase for the postseason.

Here are five things to look for as the two teams prepare to face off Wednesday at the Moda Center.

Bogi is banged up

Walton’s crew is already banged up with the absence of De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley. Bogdan Bogdanovic is struggling with tightness in his left hamstring and has been ruled out for the game against Portland. The injury cost him a game last week and slowed him down considerably against the Bulls.

The third-year guard is averaging 14.8 points, 4.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game as the leader of the Kings’ second unit. If he can’t play against Portland, expect Yogi Ferrell and Justin James to take on a bigger role for Sacramento.

That Carmelo guy

After being left out of the league for almost a year, Anthony is back, signing a one-year league minimum deal that becomes fully guaranteed if he’s still on the roster on Jan. 7. Anthony instantly stepped into a starting role with the Blazers and is averaging 16.4 points and six rebounds in 30.3 minutes per game.

A 10-time All-Star, the 35-year-old Anthony is providing a third scorer behind Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. He’s looked better than expected, even winning a Western Conference Player of the Week award.

Old faces, new places

Portland has a group of former Kings bigs on their roster this season. Skal Labissiere is playing rotational minutes as a backup five, Anthony Tolliver is seeing time as a stretch four and Hassan Whiteside is anchoring the starting center position. Labissiere played together in Sacramento during the 2016-17 season. Whiteside was drafted by the Kings in 2010 and spent his first two seasons in the league in Sacramento.

In addition to Labissiere, Tolliver and Whiteside, Zach Collins and Gary Trent were both drafted by Sacramento and traded to Portland on draft night. Caleb Swanigan played for the Blazers for his first season and a half in the league and was acquired by the Kings in the trade that sent Labissiere to Portland. Harry Giles was drafted by Portland and traded to Sacramento on draft night with Justin Jackson for Collins.

What could have been

McCollum has found a home in Portland, spending his first seven seasons in the NBA playing alongside Lillard. The two form one of the most dynamic scoring backcourts in the league, but it almost didn’t work out this way.

The Kings brought McCollum in for three separate workouts during the phase leading up to the 2013 NBA Draft. McCollum has said multiple times that he believed that the Kings would select him with the seventh overall pick. At the last minute, Sacramento went a different direction, taking Ben McLemore instead and the rest is history. McCollum went to Portland with the 10th overall selection and has averaged over 20 points per game in each of the last five seasons.

During the 2012 draft, Lillard was on the board when the Kings selected at No. 5 overall. Like McCollum, there were strong indications the Kings would choose him on draft night, but Thomas Robinson fell out of the top four and the Kings changed their path. Lillard went with the sixth overall pick and has gone on to make four All-Star teams and has a career scoring average of 23.6 points per game.

[RELATED: Kyle Guy scores career-high 42 points in G-League]

The Ultimate Equalizer

The Kings flew up to Portland on Tuesday afternoon and were settled into their hotel rooms with plenty of time to turn on the TV and watch the Blazers playing the Clippers in Los Angeles at the Staples Center. There is no word on what time the Trail Blazers made it back home after losing to the Clippers, but the Kings are the more rested team.

Warriors vs. Blazers watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage


Warriors vs. Blazers watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

SAN FRANCISCO – Though the Trail Blazers have seen more of the Warriors than any NBA team in recent years, they won’t recognize the faces they see when the teams meet Monday night at Chase Center.

Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6:30, with tipoff scheduled for 7:40.

[RELATED: How to watch Warriors-Blazers on MyTeams]

The teams have faced off 31 times (including postseason) dating back to 2014-15, but both have undergone significant change in the five-plus months since they met in the Western Conference finals. Portland (3-3) has four new faces in its rotation. The Warriors (1-5) will present a totally different team.

Not one member of the Warriors available for the game was in uniform in when the teams faced off in May, meaning the usual backcourt fireworks – Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson vs. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum – won’t be in play.


Trail Blazers

F Rodney Hood
F Mario Hezonja
C Hassan Whiteside
G CJ McCollum
G Damian Lillard


F Glenn Robinson III
F Eric Paschall
C Willie Cauley-Stein
G Jordan Poole
G Ky Bowman


Blazers: C Hassan Whiteside (left knee bone bruise) is listed as probable. C/F Zach Collins (left shoulder dislocation), C Pau Gasol (left foot fracture) and C Jusuf Nurkic (left lower leg fracture) are listed as out.

Warriors: G Stephen Curry (left hand fracture), G Jacob Evans (left adductor strain), F Draymond Green (left index finger sprain), C/F Kevon Looney (neuropathy), G D’Angelo Russell (right ankle sprain), F Alen Smailagic (right ankle sprain) and (G Klay Thompson (left ACL rehabilitation) are listed as out.


Blazers: It’s still “The Dame and CJ Show,” but the new faces bring a different dimension. Both Lillard and McCollum have scored in double figures in all six games, but six teammates have at least two such games ... The most notable addition is Whiteside, whose 7-foot-7 wingspan in the paint provides a presence this team has not had. He averaged 10.5 rebounds in the first four games and has for the last several seasons been among the league’s top shot-blockers, leading the NBA in that category in 2015-16 ... Ex-Warrior G Kent Bazemore, who came over in exchange for Evan Turner and is a defensive upgrade. He nabbed five steals on opening night against the Nuggets ... In addition to Bazemore, key players off the bench have been second-year G Anfernee Simons, F Anthony Tolliver (who occasionally starts) and former Sacramento King F Skal Labissiere.

Warriors: The Warriors have used a different lineup for every game this season and conceivably could make it seven on Monday. They dressed only nine players Saturday night against the Hornets and will do the same against the Blazers ... The entire healthy roster has combined for 467 NBA starts. Only Cauley-Stein (199) and F/C Marquese Chriss (126) have made more than 70 starts. Robinson is the only player to start in all six games this season ... Paschall topped the 20-point mark in two of the last three games. The last Warriors rookie to accomplish that feat was Gilbert Arenas in 2001-02. The last time the Warriors started the season losing five of their first six games was in 2002-03. They finished with a 38-44 that season.

Officials: Ken Mauer (crew chief), Derrick Collins, Derek Richardson.