Wednesday, April 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Cousins, Gay lead Kings over Blazers

Rudy Gay, Nicolas Batum

Sacramento's Rudy Gay, left, and Portland's Nicolas Batum compete for the ball during the Kings' 123-119 victory over the Trail Blazers at Sleep Train Arena. AP photo

SACRAMENTO — One swish after another, Damian Lillard pulled Portland closer.

One or two more, and he might’ve pulled off one of the NBA’s most improbable comebacks this season.

DeMarcus Cousins tied a season-high with 35 points to go with 13 rebounds, Rudy Gay scored 32 points and the Sacramento Kings held off a furious rally by Lillard to beat the Trail Blazers, 123-119, on Tuesday night.

“That’s the craziest game I’ve ever been a part of,” Cousins said. “I could not wait until the end. I don’t ever want to be in a situation with the ball in Damian Lillard’s hands. I’m glad we got the win, but that was a scary thing.”

Cousins and Gay provided the spark for a 32-12 run at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarters that put Sacramento ahead by 19 points. Gay fouled out with 4:12 remaining, and the Blazers nearly rallied back.

After scoring just 13 points in the third quarter, Portland had 46 points in the final period.

Lillard alone scored 26 of his 41 points in the fourth to power Portland within two in the final minute. But the Kings made just enough free throws to hold off the Blazers, who have lost four of their last six games.

“That clock was moving very, very slow,” said Kings coach Michael Malone. “Damian just kept on coming.”

LaMarcus Aldridge added 24 points and eight rebounds, and Nicolas Batum finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and five assists while playing with a fractured left middle finger in Portland’s latest loss.

The Kings had dropped two straight after beating top contenders Miami and Houston. Sacramento held a players-only meeting on Sunday, and the Kings emerged to knock off another one of the NBA’s best.

Gay made consecutive 3-pointers, a three-point play and a layup during Sacramento’s surge in the fourth. Cousins also put back a rebound and hit a jumper to help the Kings go ahead 102-83 with 7:54 remaining.

Sacramento led 117-105 with 1:12 to play when Lillard turned into a one-man wrecking crew.

The reigning NBA Rookie of the Year made three 3-pointers, a fast-break layup and was fouled shooting another from beyond the arc — which just rimmed out. He made all three free throws to slice Sacramento’s lead to 121-119 with 16.5 seconds left.

“Once I make a few, I can get going,” Lillard said.

Isaiah Thomas hit two free throws before Lillard missed from long range to all but end the comeback. Lillard shot 13-of-24 from the floor and added seven rebounds and four assists.

“He’s a competitor and at no time does he ever think he’s out of a game,” said Blazers coach Terry Stotts. “He’s done that a lot in the two years he’s been here. He’s a special player.”

In a matchup between one of the best and one of the worst teams in the West, Sacramento flipped the script on a Blazers team that had cruised through most of its schedule.

The Blazers also had beaten the Kings on consecutive nights in November, winning 104-91 in Portland and 96-85 in Sacramento. The Kings started three players who did not start in the two previous games against Portland — most notably Gay, who was acquired from Toronto in a seven-player trade in early December.

That included Marcus Thornton moving back in the starting lineup for Sacramento, replacing seventh overall pick Ben McLemore. Thornton finished with three points and eight rebounds, and McLemore had two points and two assists.

The Blazers still outscored Sacramento 35-24 in the first quarter and seemed ready to go 3-0 against the Kings this season. Portland shot 63.2 percent from the floor and made 10-of-11 free throws in the period.

Instead, the Kings opened the second quarter on a 14-5 run led by mostly reserves. The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the half, and the Blazers held a 60-55 lead at the break.

Thomas, who had 22 points and eight assists, hit a pair of 3s to highlight a 13-2 spurt for Sacramento to start the third quarter. Portland’s topsy-turvy second half just wasn’t enough to rally behind Lillard.

“I just didn’t want to lose the game,” Lillard said. “We had some good spurts on offense, then some bad spurts on defense, then bad spurts on offense, and then good defense. We just need to be more consistent. But when it came down to it we still had a chance to win the game. That’s all I was thinking about.”

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    New mosaic mural reflects Peña family history

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    UC Davis biodigester hungers for food scraps

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Penalty decision looms in Winters homicide case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Hay bales burn east of Davis

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Woman killed by train ID’d

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Pro-Russian insurgents hold journalist captive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

    Davis Arts Center: See ceramics, join the Big Day of Giving

    By Erie Vitiello | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Fire damages Woodland home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

    Register to vote by May 19

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sign up for enviro organizations during Earth Week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Bible fun featured at Parents’ Night Out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Davis businesswoman presides over conference

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Birch Lane sells garden plants, veggies

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Team Blend hosts fundraiser for Nicaragua project

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

    Fundraiser benefits Oakley campaign

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Fire crews gather for joint training

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Odd Fellows host culinary benefit for nonprofit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    400 bikes go up for bids at UCD auction

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Sunder hosts campaign event for kids

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Church hosts discussion of mental health needs, services

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    UCD to host premiere of autism documentary

    By Cory Golden | From Page: A4

    UFC hears from two local historians

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    UCD professor to talk about new book

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Fly Fishers talk to focus on healthy streams, rivers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Train to become a weather spotter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Learn survival skills at Cache Creek Preserve

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Veterans, internees may receive overdue diplomas

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    UC Davis conference showcases undergraduate research

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Conservation District celebrates its stewardship efforts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Slow Food tour showcases area’s young farmers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    Even a safe house needs boundaries

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    I support Sunder for board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Will anyone notice?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    My votes reflect city values

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    A plea on the Bard’s birthday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    DHS thunders back to win an epic DVC volleyball match

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    DHS/Franklin I goes to the Blue Devil softballers

    By Chris Saur | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Davis gets to Grant ace and rolls in DVC crucial

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Walchli is under par in another Devil victory

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Seniors send Blue Devil girls past Broncos in a lacrosse rout

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
     
    Baseball roundup: Rangers rally to beat A’s in the ninth

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Sharks go up 3-0 with OT win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

     
    .

    Arts

     
    Five Three Oh! featured at April Performers’ Circle

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Celebrate spring at I-House on Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Music, wine flow at Fourth Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Biscuits ‘n Honey will play at winery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Catharine ‘Kay’ Lathrop

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6