The Sacramento Kings finally closed out a game, and ended up winning for just the 17 time in the Sacramento-era at Portland, and the 10th time this season.
The Kings outscored the Blazers in both the 3rd and 4th quarters despite the Blazers coming back and taking an early lead in the 3rd after trailing most of the game. Tyreke Evans was the biggest catalyst, finishing with a game-high 26 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and two steals. Omri Casspi also provided a nice boost, especially in the third quarter, where he had a stretch where he scored 8 straight, including two three pointers, that helped the Kings regain the lead.
The Kings played some excellent defense down the stretch, holding the Blazers to just 16 points in the final quarter despite being in the penalty situation since the halfway point of the final quarter. LaMarcus Aldridge, recently named Western Conference Player of the Week, had perhaps his worst game in a long time, with just 9 points on 4-14 shooting. Jason Thompson or Samuel Dalembert spent most of the night guarding him and doing such a good job the Kings rarely had to resort to double teams.
The bench was also a big difference in the game, as Carl Landry provided a big boost for Sacramento. Landry scored 16 points and had 8 rebounds. He was also a game-high +18. The Blazers were hurt by a poor shooting night from Rudy Fernandez who shot just 1-10 from the floor, but they did get good production from Dante Cunningham. Cunningham had 8 points, 7 rebounds (including a nasty putback dunk), and 4 blocks in just 22 minutes.
Rookie DeMarcus Cousins showed flashes of brilliance mixed with bouts of idiocy, as he is wont to do, but he still managed to put up 14 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists in only 15 minutes of play. The short time was due to foul trouble, as well as a stint in the third quarter where he had a turnover three straight possessions.
For the Kings this has to be a huge confidence booster, finally winning a game, and controlling it down the stretch. Hopefully they can build on that tomorrow at home against Charlotte.