SACRAMENTO -- Not this time. After losing a heartbreaker in overtime to the Portland Trail Blazers earlier in the month, the Kings made up for it Monday night at Golden 1 Center.
Surviving a big night from Damian Lillard, the Kings used their balanced scoring attack to come away with a 115-107 victory over the Blazers.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings finished their homestand 3-0, and improved to 23-21 on the season:
The Defensive Effort
With Sacramento’s up-tempo style of play, defense often becomes an afterthought. That was not the case against the Trail Blazers.
After an up-and-down first quarter, the Kings turned up the heat in the second quarter, holding the Blazers to just 17 points on 28.6 percent shooting.
The Kings continued to be the aggressor on the defensive end, holding Portland to 40.2 percent from the field and 32.3 percent from long range on the night. This was one of Sacramento's better defensive showings of the season.
Battle of the Backcourts
Lillard and C.J. McCollum have been the driving force behind the Blazers for years. De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield are becoming the same for the Kings.
Lillard put up his customary 35-point night against the Kings, but Sacramento’s guards put the clamps on McCollum. They held the sharpshooter to just six points on 2-for-14 shooting.
Fox pushed the tempo and attacked the lane for 16 points and nine assists. Hield poured in a team-high 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting, and chipped in seven rebounds.
Portland’s pair scored more points. Sacramento’s pair stuffed the stat sheet, and came away with the win.
The last time these two teams faced off, Jusuf Nurkic went off for 24 points, 23 rebounds, seven assists, five blocks and five steals. He didn’t find the same success Monday evening at Golden 1 Center.
Willie Cauley-Stein, Harry Giles and Marvin Bagley kept a body on the big man, limiting him to just six points on 3-of-7 shooting to go with 11 rebounds and five assists.