SACRAMENTO – A tale of two different games. It's the second time the Trail Blazers have met the Kings in this young 2019-20 season, and both teams entered the game with so many injuries.
With those injuries, Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts has been shuffling around his rotation to see what might work. He went with an 11-man rotation against the Kings Tuesday night.
Sacramento turned it up on the offensive end in the second half to now even the season series at 1-1.
Here are three quick takeaways from the Trail Blazers’ loss:
1. Early fouls change up big man rotation for Blazers
Trail Blazer fans got their first glimpse at two-way player Moses Brown. Brown saw action in the second quarter due to Hassan Whiteside’s quick three fouls. The rookie looked a bit lost on defense, but worked to hold his ground down low in his limited minutes. Whiteside’s foul trouble also meant extended minutes for Skal Labissiere. The change in rotation for Portland really showed itself in the second and third quarters with sloppy play and lack of scoring.
The Blazers went small in the second half with Anthony Tolliver playing minutes at the five after Whiteside picked up foul number four. The Kings took advantage of the Blazers lack of size. Sacramento outscored Portland 35-21 in the third. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Kings had 34 points in the paint to the Blazers’ 18.
2. Kings turn it around from deep in the second half
The Blazers lucked out early with the Kings not hitting open three-pointers. More often than not, the Blazers were not closing out quick enough or rotating in time to get a hand in their face. That all changed in the second half. Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield helped out the Kings’ three-point shooting percentage in the second half.
3. Sacramento gained confidence and it showed late
The Trail Blazers have said before that they never feel out of a game no matter how big of hole they’re in late in games. The Blazers were down 10 points with just under four minutes remaining in the game. However, it was apparent that the Kings already felt like they had won the game. Whether it was attacking the rim hard or letting it fly from deep, the Kings felt good about their overall game and that seemed to help them close it out.
Up Next: The Blazers will play in their second night of a back-to-back when Portland hosts the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. The Blazers and Raptors will tip-off at 7:00pm on NBC Sports Northwest and the MyTeams App.
Be sure to check back throughout the night and tomorrow morning for analysis, articles, and videos from the players!