It was a hot shooting night from three in Sacramento.
Damian Lillard turned it up in a hurry against the Sacramento Kings.
But the Kings as a team also got off to a great start.
While Lillard scored 13 in the first quarter, De’Aaron Fox countered with 15 points.
Sacramento started the game hitting 15-of-22 from the field in the first quarter to take a 43-33 lead. The Blazers trailed by as many as 20 in the first half.
But thanks to Portland’s hot three-point shooting the Blazers clawed back and were down just three points at halftime. The second half continued to be a battle of threes as both teams caught fire from long distance. After big swings from both squads, the Trail Blazers turned up the defense to take a 132-126 victory.
Portland ended the third quarter on a 22-9 run. As a team, the Blazers shot 23-for-48 from three for the game, while the Kings finished 19-of-38 from deep.
Jusuf Nurkic was a big part of the extra defensive effort in the second half to slow down the Kings.
The Trail Blazers are never out of the game thanks to their elite three-point shooting. Portland lit it up from behind the arc in the second quarter as the Blazers also slowed down Sacramento to outscore the Kings 32-25 in the second.
But credit is also due to Nurkic and Gary Trent Jr. for applying more pressure on the Kings. The Blazers defense as a team really stepped it up in the second half to secure the win. Nurkic's aggressive play was a key piece to Portland's comeback whether it was on the defensive end or on the glass.
Damian Lillard looked like a man on a mission. After being listed as probable with a sprained right ankle that he suffered in Monday’s win over the Raptors, Lillard looked like he was at full strength, hitting from deep, finishing at the rim, and taking a charge with Hield running down the lane right at the Blazers point guard. Lillard finished with a double-double of 38 points and 13 assists.
CJ McCollum also showed off his playmaking ability, finishing with 10 assists on the night.
Portland’s inconsistent defense has been the Trail Blazers biggest focus so far in this young season.
The young Sacramento Kings took advantage of that Wednesday in the first half.
After the Blazers beat the Kings 125-99 last Saturday in Portland and limited the Kings top scorers, it was a different story Wednesday. The duo of Fox and Buddy Hield put up efficient shooting numbers and helped Sacramento take another big lead in the third quarter. The Kings shared the wealth too with 21 first-half assists.
Sacramento rookie guard Tyrese Haliburton showed off his scoring and playmaking ability off the bench. Haliburton had 11 points at the break.
Trail Blazers sideline reporter and studio host Brooke Olzendam paid homage to CJ McCollum's alter ego during the Blazers contest against Sacramento on Wednesday and it stole the show just as McCollum had done to start the season.
This oop from Damian Lillard to Derrick Jones Jr. was also very nice.
The Trail Blazers set a new season-high in three-pointers made in a half with 13 in the first half.
Next up: The Trail Blazers will host the Indiana Pacers in the second night of a back-to-back in the first of seven straight games at home for the Blazers. Portland and Indiana will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. PST Thursday on NBCSNW.