After losing a brutal double-overtime game in Sacramento Monday night, the Kings looked a step slow on Tuesday in Portland and the Trail Blazers made them pay. The Blazers used a balanced attack and pushed the tempo to come away with the 112-97 victory. With the win, they moved into a virtual tie with the Kings for the eighth spot in the Western Conference.
DeMarcus Cousins finally ran out of gas. After scoring 104 points in his previous two outings, the All-Star big struggled with his shot from the start. He finished with 17 points, but shot just 4-for-21 from the field and 9-of-17 from the line in the loss.
Rajon Rondo came out with energy, but he was one of the few in a purple uniform that looked active. He scored 13 points and for the 13th straight game, he finished in double-figures in assists with 11.
The Kings have been waiting for Marco Belinelli to wake up for a while. The veteran shooting guard had hit 9-of-42 from the field (21.4 percent) over his previous five games, but he looked like a different player tonight in Portland. Belinelli finished the night with 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting and he added four assists in 25 minutes.
Willie Cauley-Stein added 12 points, seven rebounds and four blocks and Omri Casspi scored 10 filling in for the injured Rudy Gay as the Kings fell to 20-25 on the season.
Seven Blazers scored in double-figures, led by C.J. McCollum’s 18. All-Star guard Damian Lillard added 15 points and 13 assists in 33 minutes of action.
Gerald Henderson came off Portland’s bench to add 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting and Mason Plumlee chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds.
Meyers Leonard scored just nine points and grabbed seven rebounds, but he successfully got under the skin of Cousins. Cousins had heavy legs after logging major minutes the night before, and Leonard played a solid defensive game in a big one for the Blazers.
This game was decided Monday night in Sacramento when the Kings lost in double-overtime to the Hornets. The Kings looked tired and worn out, and the Blazers took full advantage.
After missing two games last week with a heel issue, Rudy Gay missed his first game with a corneal abrasion to the left eye. He is listed as day-to-day.
The Kings leave Portland and travel to New Orleans to take on Tyreke Evans, Anthony Davis and the Pelicans on Thursday evening.