Thursday marks the final game of the First Half of the season for the Portland Trail Blazers who improved to 20-14 on the season following Wednesday night’s 108-106 victory over the Warriors.
Now Portland welcomes in the Sacramento Kings (14-21).
The Kings are also coming off a narrow victory Wednesday night as they squeaked by the Lakers, 123-120.
Thursday’s game against Sacramento will be the third and final meeting between the Trail Blazers and Kings this season.
Sacramento currently has the worst defensive rating in NBA history at 118.9.
Portland leads the season series, 2-0.
Back on Jan. 13 in the two’s most recent matchup, the Trail Blazers defeated the Kings, 132-126 in Sacramento. Damian Lillard led Portland with 40 points, 13 assists and three steals.
In the loss, De'Aaron Fox finished with 29 points on 9-of-18 shooting including 5-of-8 from three.
Portland will be without Harry Giles (left calf strain), CJ McCollum (left midfoot fracture), Jusuf Nurkic (right wrist fracture) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) vs. Sacramento
Following Wednesday’s game, our Trail Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes dissected how Damian Lillard was able to escape the double-team just in time to rescue the Blazers:
The Trail Blazers were outshot from the three-point line and from the field by the Golden State Warriors Wednesday night, Out rebounded, too.
But the Blazers won, anyway, 108-106 – as Damian Lillard emerged from double-team hell just in time to ride to the rescue.
The Warriors had a three-point lead and a possession that ended with just under a minute to play during which they missed four straight shots. They went on to miss two more attempts inside the final minute and it was just enough room for Portland to steal the game.
Lillard buried a 29-foot three-pointer with 14 seconds to go that stood as the final margin of victory. The Portland all-star had made just two of his nine threes prior to the game-winner.
Still, he had to win it for his team at the defensive end, stepping in to draw a charging foul near the rim on Draymond Green with 4.1 seconds left.
“Dame is undeterred,” Terry Stotts said afterward. “Obviously, he didn't shoot the ball well tonight, but he made the two plays of the game. He makes the big three and takes the charge.
“He's is a super competitor, and never thinks he's out of a game, and he’s always willing to put himself on the line to make the play at either end. So, I think those last two plays speak volumes for the type of player that he is.”
Lillard has made big defensive plays late in games, particularly in setting himself up to take charges. This one was a close one – he was outside the restricted area, but got himself set just in time.
Read more here.
The Blazers are -4.5 point favorites against the Kings, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about Thursday’s matchup --
- Gary Trent Jr. added 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field (4-5 FT), to go with one rebound, four assists and two steals at Sacramento on Jan. 13.
- Buddy Hield finished with 26 points (9-21 FG, 8-18 3-PT), six rebounds, five assists and one steal against the Trail Blazers on Jan. 13. His eight 3PM tied a season-high.
- The Trail Blazers made 23 three-pointers on Jan. 13, which at that point tied a franchise record. The Kings made 19 three-pointers, which is still a season-high.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: -4.5 (-110) – Kings: +4.5 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Thursday, March 4
Where: Moda Center | Portland, OR
Start time: 7:00 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
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