It was an up-tempo and high scoring affair for the Trail Blazers Saturday night in Sacramento.
And it was also CJ McCollum’s night.
The Blazers took a 38-24 lead over the Kings at the end of the first quarter after shooting over 52 percent through the first 12 minutes.
McCollum was on a scoring mission from the jump. He did a little bit of everything on the offensive end. In his first eight-minute stint, he scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting. When he notched 22 points in 20 minutes of action, he passed Rasheed Wallace to claim the No. 10 spot on Portland’s all-time scoring list.
The Blazers as a team took care of the ball, finishing with just eight team turnovers as they took care of business against the Kings, cruising to a 125-99 victory.
Portland also took advantage of Sacramento’s defensive woes, which has struggled to slow teams down after giving up 144 points in their loss to the Raptors Friday.
It was really no different on Saturday as Portland had their way with Sacramento. The Blazers took a 66-49 lead at halftime and held a 93-69 lead heading into the fourth.
As a team the Blazers stepped up on the defensive end, especially in their help rotation as they slowed down Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III and De'Aaron Fox.
The Blazers pick and roll was rolling all night. Whether it was Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic, CJ McCollum and Nurkic, or Gary Trent Jr. and Enes Kanter, the two-man game was working well Saturday as Trent Jr. continued to show his playmaking ability.
Portland capitalized on the Kings defensive struggles with Carmelo Anthony on the attack early against Sacramento’s second unit. Melo brought instant offense and looked to have a little extra bounce Saturday.
McCollum also got it done on both ends of the floor. He notched 16 points and two steals by halftime. But it was a third quarter milestone that capped off his night. McCollum is now holding down the No. 10 spot on the team’s all-time scoring list. He finished the game with 37 points after hitting 6-of-11 from behind the arc.
On such a hot shooting night for Portland, it seemed nearly everything was going right for the road team. However, the second quarter the Blazers let up a bit to allow the Kings to creep back into this one. That didn’t last long though.
It looks like it’s back to the drawing board for the Kings after two straight blowout losses.
The Highlight: In a milestone game, McCollum showed off his crafty ways. (Also, note the bench’s amazing reaction).
Portland finished with 10 steals on the night compared to Sacramento's four.
Ahead of the Trail Blazers and Kings contest with the milestone on the horizon for McCollum, Portland’s head coach Terry Stotts explained how the 6’3” shooting guard’s offensive game has changed over the years.
Next up: The Trail Blazers return home to host the Toronto Raptors on Monday. Portland and Toronto will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. PST on NBCSNW.