The Trail Blazers are back at it Sunday at Moda Center.
Sunday's game marks the second of two preseason games between the Trail Blazers and the Kings.
Portland handed Sacramento its first loss of the exhibition season on Friday, 127-102 behind stellar play from the Blazers second unit with Carmelo Anthony and Harry Giles leading the way off the bench.
It was the first game played at Moda Center since March 10.
Following Friday’s win, Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said that he anticipates that Jusuf Nurkic and Rodney Hood, who both sat out of Friday’s game, will play Sunday.
Hood will see his first game action since missing the final 43 games of the 2019- 20 season due to a torn left Achilles that he suffered against the Lakers on Dec. 6, 2019.
In 21 games played last season, Hood averaged 11.0 points to go along with 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists. At the time of his injury, Hood ranked third in the league in three-point field goal percentage (49.3% 3-PT).
In the loss Friday, Buddy Hield led the Kings with 23 points and one assist in 23 minutes of action.
Portland and Sacramento will meet three times during the 2020-21 regular season with all three matchups slated for the first half of the season.
Here’s what our Trail Blazers Insider, Dwight Jaynes had to say about the Blazers and Kings first matchup on Friday:
A few leftovers from the Trail Blazers’ opening exhibition game in front of all those empty seats in Moda Center:
- Harry Giles rightfully got a lot of attention for his play against his former team. But the most surprising thing that happened for the Trail Blazers was the shooting -- particularly the outside shooting -- of new forward Derrick Jones Jr. Jones made all six of his shots from the field and both his three-pointers. He came with the reputation of someone who couldn’t shoot from the outside (he’s a career 28.2 percent three-point shooter).
- “You know how we are here,” Coach Terry Stotts said, when asked about Jones’ shooting. “We try to encourage guys to improve their shooting, but honestly, I think he has a good stroke. I like his mechanics. I think the ball comes off his hands well. And, you know, it wouldn’t surprise me if he has a career year shooting the ball here.”
- A big question coming into this season will be how big of a contribution the two new starting forwards -- Jones and Robert Covington -- will make. And, of course, defense isn’t as easy to measure as offense. But check it out -- while those two were on the floor, the Trail Blazers played their best basketball. Portland outscored the Kings by 21 with Covington on the floor and by 19 with Jones out there. Those plus-minus totals were the two best on the floor.
- Enes Kanter made only one of his five shots, but he did an Enes Kanter thing -- in his 22:39, he grabbed 11 rebounds, eight of them on the offensive end.
- In just 23:07, Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points and made all three of his shots from distance. If he continues to play off the bench, he’s going to have a lot of games where he gobbles up some of the league’s second-unit players.
The Blazers are a -7 against the Kings Sunday, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about the Trail Blazers and Kings matchup --
- LAST SEASON: The Trail Blazers split the season series in 2019-20, 2-2.
- Damian Lillard averaged 24.5 points (51.3% FG, 42.4% 3-PT, 82.2% FT), 4.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 2.25 steals in four games (all starts) against the Kings last season. Lillard has scored 20-plus points in 12 of his last 13 games against Sacramento.
- In four games against Sacramento last season, CJ McCollum averaged 23.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists.
- Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points (8-16 FG, 2-4 3-PT, 2-2 FT) to go with five rebounds against Sacramento on Dec. 4, 2019, marking his third 20-point game in his first eight outings with the Trail Blazers. He has scored 20-plus points in 10 of his last 12 games against the Kings.
- Buddy Hield scored 20-plus points in each of his four games against the Trail Blazers last season. Hield made six three-pointers (of nine) against Portland in their last meeting on March 7.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: -7 (-115) -- Kings +7 (-105)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Sunday, December 13
Where: Moda Center | Portland, OR
Start time: 6:00 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.