Road Reaction: Portland Trail Blazers 109, Sacramento Kings 91

After kicking around the Portland Trail Blazers in Sacramento Sunday, the Kings came out flat against the same team Wednesday, falling on the road in a 109-91 blowout.

Notes and Analysis

  • John Salmons led a lackluster effort against the Blazers in Portland tonight.  The veteran wing scored a team-high 19 points on 6-for-10 shooting and added four assists.
  • Jason Thompson got another start at center in place of DeMarcus Cousins, who did not travel with the team to Portland.  Thompson finished with 11 points and six rebounds in 25 minutes, but finished with a plus/minus of -24 on the night.
  • Isaiah Thomas provided the bench punch, scoring 12 points and dishing out a team-high six assists.
  • Francisco Garcia returned after missing two games with a sore lower back.  The veteran added nine points on 4-for-7 and handed out three assists in 18 minutes of action.
  • After setting a new season-high in assists last game with 31, the Kings did a nice job of backing that up with a 28-assist effort Wednesday against the Blazers.  Six players had three or more assists, led by Thomas and his six.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge was too much to handle for the short-handed Kings.  The Blazers big man finished the night with 28 points and 12 rebounds and his front court mate J.J. Hickson added another solid 17-point-14-rebound double-double performance.
  • Rookie Damian Lillard torched the team that passed him with the fifth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.  The Blazers starting point guard just missed a triple-double, finishing with 17 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.
  • Stat of the Night: The Kings did a solid job of passing the ball and valuing the possession.  They had a healthy 28 team assists and only 10 turnovers in the loss.

Three answers to three questions pondered

1.  Can the Kings duplicate the team ball success from Sunday’s win?

The Kings duplicated the passing effort, but not the shooting effort.  Funny how you can shoot 40.7 percent from the floor and still hand out 28 assists in a game.  That is the team’s second-highest assist total on the season, falling three short of Sunday’s 31.

2.  Will small-ball reign supreme in Portland?

Nope.  The Blazers big men took the Kings to task tonight.  Hickson and Aldridge combined for 45 points, 26 rebounds and five assists and they could have done more if the game wasn’t a laugher.

3. Will Travis Outlaw once again find a rhythm against his former team?

Outlaw came crashing back down to earth, finishing with as many fouls (four) as he had points (four).  This was the Travis Outlaw that has unfortunately shown up for the Kings on most nights during his season-plus with the team.

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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".