Game Recap: Kings vs. Blazers

Starting Line-ups

Kings

  • Beno Udrih
  • Tyreke Evans
  • Omri Casspi
  • Jason Thompson
  • DeMarcus Cousins

Reserves:  Jermaine Taylor, Donté Greene, Samuel Dalembert, Carl Landry, Luther Head, Darnell Jackson, Pooh Jeter.

Inactive:  Francisco Garcia (sprained left calf), Hassan Whiteside.

Blazers

  • Andre Miller
  • Wesley Matthews
  • Nicolas Batum
  • LeMarcus Aldridge
  • Joel Przybilla

Reserves: Luke Babbitt, Sean Marks, Rudy Fernandez, Patty Mills, Dante Cunningham, Armon Johnson.

Inactive: Brandon Roy (knees), Greg Oden (knee), Marcus Camby (knee).

First Quarter Recap

The game got off to an extremely slow start with Portland missing a large percentage of their shots while the Kings fumbled away a bunch of defensive rebounds.  DeMarcus Cousins got it going early, scoring five points and running circles around Joel Przybilla, but he was forced to leave the game with two early fouls.  Coach Paul Westphal went heavily to the bench mid-way through the first, mixing in Donté Greene, Carl Landry and Samuel Dalembert.  The move seemed to open things up for the Kings’ back court of Evans and Udrih, who responded with 15 combined points.  Portland came back with six points apiece from Matthews and Batum, but fell behind by five going to the second after a late Sacramento surge.

Kings  25  Blazers 20

Leaders

Kings-   Evans (8) Points;   Greene (2) Rebounds;   3 tied (1) Assist.

Blazers-   Matthews/Batum (6) Points;   Aldridge (3) Rebounds;   Aldridge (3) Assists.

Second Quarter Recap

DeMarcus Cousins began to inflict damage on the Blazers early in the second quarter;  rebounding, leading the break, scoring from the inside and outside … until he picked up his third foul and had to go to the bench before the eight minute mark.   Around the seven minute mark, Tyreke Evans buried an elbow three, giving the Kings their first double digit lead of the night at ten, 34-24.  After Beno Udrih stretched the lead to 13 moments later with a three pointer of his own, the Blazers answered with a 5-0 run to keep the game in reach.  The Blazers continued their charge, going on another big run, this time an 8-0 run to cut the Kings’ lead to four at 39-35.  The Kings led by as many as 13, but took a mere two point lead into the half after a major push by the Trailblazers.  Beno Udrih (10) and Tyreke Evans (15) paced the Kings in scoring, while DeMarcus Cousins added nine points and five rebounds in just nine foul-riddled minutes.  Wes Matthews chipped in 11 to lead a very well-balanced Portland attack.

Kings  45  Blazers 43

Leaders

Kings-   Evans (15) Points;   Cousins (5) Rebounds;   Evans/Greene (2) Assists.

Blazers-   Matthews (11) Points;   Aldridge (6) Rebounds;   Aldridge (3) Assists.

Team                 Kings        Blazers

FG%                   46.3%          45.2%
Rebounds        20                 22
Assists/TO      8/7               10/7

Third Quarter Recap

After trailing for almost the entire game, the Blazers took the lead in the first minute of the second half on a Wes Matthews three pointer.  Cousins came out in the third quarter way too aggressive, turning the ball over three times and picking up his fourth foul within the first four and a half minutes, before going to the bench with a hip flexor injury.  Wes Matthews, who spent last season in Utah, lit the Kings up with two early three’s in the quarter.  The Kings answered with Omri Casspi, who, after going scoreless in the first half, dropped ten on the Blazers in the first seven minutes of the third.  Westphal turned to his bench again in the third, using rookie Pooh Jeter to change the pace, Carl Landry as his post scorer and Samuel Dalembert as a defensive stopper against LeMarcus Aldridge.  The group responded, helping the Kings open up a five point lead heading to the fourth.

Kings  70  Blazers  65

Leaders

Kings-   Evans (17) Points;   Cousins (8) Rebounds;   Evans (4) Assists.

Blazers-   Matthews (11) Points;   Aldridge (7) Rebounds;   Aldridge (5) Assists.

Fourth Quarter Recap

The Kings went back to DeMarcus Cousins to begin the fourth and he instantly made his presence felt again.  1:19 into the quarter, the Kings had doubled their lead to ten, but shortly after that, DeMarcus Cousins was again forced to the bench with his fifth foul.  The Blazers took advantage, quickly cutting back into the lead as the Kings turned the ball over repeatedly.  As the game tightened up, the Kings, and more specifically Samuel Dalembert, turned up the defense, leading to an 81-73 lead at the six minute mark.  Nicolas Batum buried a huge three to cut the Kings’ lead to five around the four and a half minute mark, and moments later LeMarcus Aldrige hit one of two to make it a four point game.

Dalembert carried the Kings with his defense, blocking shots which led to easy chances on the other end.  After a pair of Tyreke Evans free throws extended the Kings’ lead back to six, the Kings got the ball back and with 2:15 left on the clock, Tyreke iced the game with a long three pointer.  The Kings defense held and Casspi tipped in another Evans three point attempt, giving the Kings an 11 point lead with 1:36 left.  After losing back-to-back games in overtime, the Kings finished strong, beating the Blazers by ten in the fourth for a huge 15 point win on the road.

Kings win!

Kings  96  Blazers 81

Leaders

Kings-   Evans (26) Points;   Cousins/Landry (8) Rebounds;   Evans (6) Assists.

Blazers-   Matthews (21) Points;   Batum (9) Rebounds;   Miller/Aldridge (5) Assists.

Team                    Kings         Blazers
FG%                       50.0%         39.5%
Rebounds             44                  39
Assists/TO          19/16          16/15

Player of the Game: Tyreke Evans.  This award easily could have gone to Samuel Dalembert for his defensive mastery of LeMarcus Aldridge.  If DeMarcus Cousins hadn’t gotten into foul trouble, he would have also been in the running because he was the best player on the floor for 15 minutes tonight.  Evans stepped up when the Kings needed him to, canning a huge three and hitting all six of his free throws, including four in the waning moments of the fourth.  Overall, he scored a game high 26 on 9-16 shooting and chipped in six assists and six rebounds.  This was the player Kings fans expected to see all season.

The Difference Maker: Samuel Dalembert.  First up, I would be doing Jason Thompson a disservice if I didn’t mention him as well because this isn’t so much about the numbers the Kings put up, but the numbers they didn’t allow tonight.  The Kings did an unbelievable job of collapsing and shutting down reigning NBA Western Conference player of the week LeMarcus Aldridge.  After torching the Kings last week for 23 points (mostly in the fourth quarter and overtime) and nine rebounds, the Kings held the talented big man to just nine points (4-14 FG) and seven rebounds in 42 minutes tonight.  The Kings played Aldridge so well, he only went to the line two times all night and he only scored a single point in the decisive fourth quarter.  Dalembert’s line looks very unimpressive- four points, four rebounds and four blocks, but his impact was felt throughout the game in a big way.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is co-owner and senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also provides game day coverage for NBA.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart".