SACRAMENTO -- A seesaw affair at Sleep Train Arena ended with a 103-94 Kings win over the Trail Blazers due to lock down defense in the fourth quarter and Rudy Gay’s prolific 40-point effort.
Sacramento jumped out to a 16-9 lead making eight of their first 11 shots from the floor in a reversal of their cold start on opening night versus the Warriors.
However, a series of runs ensued in a game that was tied at the half and at the end of three quarters.
Portland responded to the initial Kings' run with a 14-8 run of their own as Sacramento was left clinging to a 26-24 first quarter lead.
The Blazers took the lead early in the second quarter 31-30, forcing Kings coach Michael Malone to take a timeout.
Sacramento responded with an 11-4 run to take a 41-34 lead with 5:06 to go before halftime.
Portland then bounced with a 9-2 run of their own with Wesley Matthew’s buckets sandwiched around a free throw by Nicolas Batum three, and a LaMarcus Aldridge jumper to take the lead back at 44-43 with 2:55 left in the second quarter.
The last points of the half were via a slick out-of-bounds play to Chris Kaman with 29.2 seconds left to end the first half with a 48-48 tie.
The Kings started the second half on a 14-4 run to go up 62-52 with 8:02 to go in the third quarter.
However, Portland responded yet again to force a tie by the end of the third quarter tie at 71, 19-9 run with Cousins off the floor picking up his fourth foul one of the loose ball variety with 5:42 left in the third.
The fourth quarter featured lock down defense by Sacramento holding the Blazers to 23 points and was punctuated by a scintillating sequence – a Cousins block leading to a McLemore alley-oop from Gay. Another block by Cousins that had Sleep Train rocking and the Kings up 90-81 with 2:31 left in the fourth quarter.
The Kings took care of business from there executing down the stretch to secure their first win of the season while preventing the Trail Blazers from securing a road victory.
Cousins and Darren Collison had 17 points apiece and Omri Casspi chipped in with 10 points off the bench.
Portland was led by LaMarcus Aldridge's 22 points and Damian Lillard's 20.
Rudy Gay went off for 40 points on 19 shots. He finished one point shy of his career-high of 41.
The scintillating sequence – two Cousins blocks in between the McLemore alley-oop gave the Kings a nine-point lead with 2:31 left in the fourth quarter.
For Portland, C Meyers Leonard (upper respiratory infection) did not play.
For Sacramento, Derrick Williams (right knee contusion) did not play.
Sacramento hits the road for the first back-to-back of the season for games at the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday and at Denver on Monday.