It was too easy for the Portland Trail Blazers at the start Wednesday, and the Kings would say that was their fault.
“We weren’t physical enough with them,” said Kings guard Garrett Temple. “We played too soft, especially early on and they were able to knock down some shots.”
That passive start allowed the Blazers to build a nine-point lead in the first quarter and go on to defeat Sacramento 102-89 at Moda Center, snapping the Kings’ season-high four game winning streak during which they relied on strong fourth quarters.
But there wasn’t enough left to overcome Portland as the Kings struggled most of the game on offense.
“Tough game for us,” said Kings coach Dave Joerger. “Played a team that’s been struggling but is much better than people think. They can score and they got comfortable in the first half, they got comfortable in the first six minutes, seven minutes. They got too many easy jumpers, too many easy looks.”
Portland led 60-44 at halftime. The Blazers shot 51.2 percent and made eight 3-pointers in the first half. All of this with leading scorer Damian Lillard out for the second consecutive game with a sprained ankle.
“I don’t think we were aggressive enough,” said DeMarcus Cousins. “We know the type of team Portland is. They’re a jump-shooting team, they have a lot of motion, constant movement, but when it came to switching we weren’t aggressive enough. They were comfortable making plays and we just weren’t aggressive enough defensively.”
Portland (14-20) was aggressive with…
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