After a disappointing loss last night to the Los Angeles Clippers where the starters got pretty much the entire fourth quarter off, the Blazers are looking to rebound tonight against the Sacramento Kings. The Kings are without De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley Jr. tonight.
The legs were a concern after playing in Los Angeles last night, but the Blazers had more than enough to hold off the Kings, 127-116.
CJ McCollum came out playing the best defense of his life tonight and locked down Buddy Hield in the process. CJ had three blocks and a steal in the first six minutes of the game. That’s usually his defensive output for two weeks. Hassan Whiteside was also perfect in the quarter going 4-4 with nine points.
The Blazers jumped out to a quick eight-point lead, but the Kings slowed things down and Hield got going after CJ left the game. Hield had 12 points CJ checked out with four minutes left in the first quarter.
Carmelo Anthony looks like he’s clicking offensively tonight. And defensively too! He’s got a deflection and two block shots in the first quarter. He’s showing well on switches and closing out with hands up.
Kings jump out to an eight point lead and are shooting over 50% from three in the first half. The Blazers not defending the three line this season is nothing new. CJ McCollum goes insane to get the Blazers back into it. He has 14 points in the second quarter. Back to back threes by Damian Lillard and Rodney Hood have the Blazers back on top, 53-52.
Another night and the Blazers bench not doing a whole lot. It seems that once a week someone from the bench will blow up and help the unit out. Right now the bench unit only has nine points. Things will get better when Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic return, but that is still at least 2-3 months away.
Both CJ and Dame are getting really good at finding Whiteside on the high screen and rolls. That play is going to be hard to stop. They run it with Skal Labissiere too, but it’s not nearly as effective as it is with Whiteside.
Whiteside then returns the favor to CJ on a give and go for a lovely reverse layup.
The Blazers outscored the Kings, 36-29 to take a 66-64 lead into halftime. CJ looks like he’s aiming to be the Western Conference Player of the Week this week.
The second half starts out fast with neither team wanting to play defense. Richaun Holmes is tearing up Whiteside on the inside now. CJ is still hot and so is Rodney Hood. It looks like we could get a score up into the 150’s tonight people!
And the refs start blowing the whistle and the last five minutes of the third quarter have lasted about fifteen minutes. The Ball has gotten sloppy. There were seven total turnovers going into the last few minutes of the quarter and now up to 17.
Lots of fouls and lots of turnovers have really slowed down a really fun game at this point. There was even two instances of Damian Lillard being fouled in the air on a three point attempt and it is called on the floor. James Harden gets those calls, Dame should too.
That was not a pretty quarter. The Blazers did get another quarter where they scored over 30 again.
Carmelo Anthony hits a three to open the fourth to give the Blazers their largest lead of the night, 103-95.
Anfernee Simons fouls out in only 12 minutes of play tonight. He had three points, two boards, and two assists. Looks like all bench production will come from Kent Bazemore. Skal Labissiere isn’t doing much tonight and Nassir Little is Nassir Little. Skal has not been as aggressive as he normally is and seems to be floating around, rather than attacking anything on offense or defense. I think Carmelo Anthony might intimidate him. He seems to defer to Melo a lot on rebounds.
As the Blazers hit a big shot that looks like they are going to start pulling away the Kings answer with a basket. Dame makes back to back three pointers to give the Blazers an 11 point lead and the Kings immediately answer.
Bazemore hits a three with 4:26 left in the game and the Blazers are back up by 11. This might have been the shot that puts the Kings away for good. Bazemore has been Bazemoney tonight. Great defense and providing timely shots. He’s hit three threes tonight.
CJ got a flagrant foul for giving Trevor Ariza and his manhood a back elbow on a drive. It wasn’t intentional. Wrong place and the wrong time for the testicles. After the flagrant foul shots, Dame gets a steal and Bazemore streaked out for an easy layup. That’ll about do it.
CJ McCollum had 33 points and four blocks, Damian Lillard added 24, 10 assists and 2 steals, Carmelo Anthony had 20, Hassan Whiteside had 22 and also added 16 rebounds. Kent Bazemore had a season high 15 off the bench.
The Blazers have now won four out of five.
The Los Angeles Lakers come into town on Friday night. Game is at 7:30 and you can either have the crappy ESPN broadcast or listen to the sweet sounds of Kevin Calabro. Hopefully, you know of a good bar to go to.