Damian Lillard goes for 40 as Blazers overtake Kings

Damian Lillard established season bests of 40 points and 13 assists and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied from a 19-point, third-quarter deficit to notch a 132-126 victory over the host Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.

CJ McCollum contributed 28 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds as Portland won its season-best fourth straight game. Lillard and McCollum each made six 3-pointers as the Trail Blazers were 23 of 48 from behind the arc and shot 48.9 percent overall.

De’Aaron Fox had 29 points and Buddy Hield made a season-best eight 3-pointers while scoring 26 points for the Kings, who lost for the sixth time in the past eight games.

Tyrese Haliburton had 17 points and nine assists, and Richaun Holmes recorded 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists for Sacramento. Marvin Bagley III and Harrison Barnes scored 11 points apiece.

The Kings were 19 of 38 from 3-point range and shot 52.4 percent from the field. However, they were just 7 of 19 shooting in the final stanza, including 2 of 10 from behind the arc, while being outscored 32-21.

Jusuf Nurkic had 18 points and 12 rebounds, Gary Trent Jr. scored 16 points and Robert Covington added 12 points for the Trail Blazers, who also routed the Kings 125-99 in Sacramento on Saturday.

The Trail Blazers were up by seven after Lillard’s driving hoop with 3:20 left before the Kings made a run and pulled within 128-126 on Fox’s 3-pointer with 42.3 seconds remaining.

But Lillard answered with a layup with 28 seconds left and two free throws with 14.8 seconds to go as Portland closed it out.

Sacramento displayed it was intent on avenging Saturday’s loss by scoring 43 first-quarter points. Fox scored 15 in the stanza, which ended with the Kings leading by 10.

Bagley’s dunk with 7:20 left in the half gave Sacramento a 58-38 advantage before the Trail Blazers controlled the rest of the half. McCollum drained a 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left to bring Portland within 68-65 at the break.

Sacramento used a 24-7 burst during the third quarter to open up a 94-75 lead just prior to the midway mark. The Trail Blazers again finished a quarter with a flurry and pulled within 105-100 on a basket by Jusuf Nurkic with 0.8 seconds left.

Portland then rattled off the first seven points of the final quarter. Nurkic’s steal and layup gave the Trail Blazers a 107-105 edge for the club’s first lead since midway through the opening stanza.

Blogs