The Fresh, Youthful Legs of the Sacramento Kings Were Too Much for the Portland Trail Blazers Tonight Coming off of a Back to Back

The Sacramento Kings used relentless energy and a big second quarter to propel themselves to victory over the Portland Trail Blazers tonight.

The Portland Trail Blazers traveled to Sacramento to play the Kings tonight coming off of a tough loss to the Denver Nuggets. Coming into the game, this was one that the Blazers expected to win. However, pregame I was worried about the pace. With this being a young team that is second in the league in pace and the Blazers on the second night of a back to back I thought that this might be a trap game that could sneak by us. The Kings also came into this one a little extra hungry to win I’m sure after losing the last matchup between the two in an overtime game.

Early in the game, I thought the energy was there for the Blazers and I actually thought the defense was pretty solid as well. That, however, quickly faded in a lop-sided second quarter where the Kings outscored the Blazers 30-17. The energy was a big key in this one. The Kings, as usual, played with a ton of energy and the Blazers looked slow and sluggish. The Blazers sloppy first half included 11 turnovers off of a lot of errant passes and fumbled balls. Although they cleaned up the turnovers in the second half they just didn’t look good as a whole in this one.

The Kings’ bench outscored the Blazers’ 58-34 in this one which was a big part of the win for the Kings tonight. Not only did the Blazers bench struggle tonight, but two-thirds of the big three really struggled to put the ball in the hole tonight. Damian Lillard struggled with some turnovers early, but other than that he had a pretty solid game. On the other side of things, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic did not play well tonight. CJ shot the ball an awful 2 for 14 from the field amounting to just 6 points. Nurkic equaled CJ’s point total on half the attempts, so his shooting percentage wasn’t bad, he just didn’t shoot the ball as much as the Blazers needed him to. That may not be entirely his fault because I didn’t think he got enough touches tonight, but Nurk can also recognize this and be assertive calling for the ball.

This overall was not a fun one to watch for Blazers fans, but there are still some positives to pull from this game. First of all, the fact that CJ and Nurk played so bad and it wasn’t a blow out is in and of itself a positive.

Also, Jake Layman and Meyers Leonard both had really good games. Jake Layman had 13 points on 6 for 9 shooting and had some really good possessions on the defensive end as well. If Layman can come out and play this aggressive more often I think the starting job should be his to lose. I also would love to see Meyers Leonard stay aggressive moving forward. He had an efficient 11 points and went 3 for 4 from three. Also liked seeing Zach Collins snatching 2 blocks tonight. This was a really pleasant sight because he could carve out some more minutes for himself if he develops into a little better defender.

Rough one tonight for the Blazers, but let’s forget about this one and be ready to cheer on your Blazers as they return home to play the Cavaliers on Wednesday.