Sports Network | January 19, 2011
(Sports Network) - The Sacramento Kings return home after a lengthy six-game road trip when they host the injury-plagued Portland Trail Blazers tonight.
The Kings finished 1-5 on their recent trek after dropping a 100-98 heartbreaker in Atlanta on Monday when Joe Johnson hit a pair of free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining and finished with 36 points, as the Hawks earned a hard-fought win over Sacramento.
Tied at 96-all with 36.7 seconds left in the fourth, Johnson's nifty reverse layup was matched by Tyreke Evans' lay-in that tied things at 98-98 and 11.6 seconds to play.
Out of an Atlanta timeout, Johnson controlled the ball, made his move to the basket and was fouled by Evans with under a second left. Johnson calmly made both free throws to give the Hawks the win.
Rookie DeMarcus Cousins had a team-leading 20 points to go with eight rebounds for the Kings, who have lost two in a row and are a Western Conference-worst 9-30. Beno Udrih and Evans went for 17 and 16 points, respectively, in defeat.
"We played really hard and really well," Sacramento head coach Paul Westphal said. "We just came up short. I'm proud of the effort our guys gave. We have to keep giving that effort."
The Blazers, meanwhile, won their second straight on Monday after LaMarcus Aldridge scored a career-high 37 points with 12 rebounds as Portland continued its dominance over the Minnesota Timberwolves with a 113-102 win at the Rose Garden.
Wesley Matthews finished with 23 points and Andre Miller added 15 points with 10 assists for Portland, which notched its 15th straight win over Minnesota.
"(Aldridge) is carrying this team. Without him, I don't know where we'd be right now," said Portland center Joel Przybilla.
Already without center Greg Oden for the season, Portland announced Monday that All-Star shooting guard Brandon Roy, who has already missed the team's past 16 games with balky knees, had successful arthroscopic surgery on both knees and will remain out indefinitely.
Now, big man Marcus Camby will undergo arthroscopic surgery this week to repair a partial medial meniscus tear in his left knee. A timeline for his return will be set following the surgery later this week.
"The MRI taken earlier today did not show anything significant," said general manager Rich Cho. "However, a more thorough review tonight from our team physician did reveal a partial tear."
The Blazers have won seven straight over the Kings and swept the season series in both 2008-09 and 2009-10.