Wednesday, April 16, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Cousins, Salmons send Kings past Portland

PORTLAND — DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and 12 rebounds, John Salmons added 19 points and 11 assists, and the Sacramento Kings snapped a six-game road losing streak with a 99-80 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

Aaron Brooks had 14 points for the Kings, who have won three in a row for the first time this season. Francisco Garcia and Jason Thompson added 12 each. All five starters finished in double figures as the Kings overcame a dismal second quarter and steadily pulled away, outscoring Portland by 19 points in the second half.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 10 rebounds and J. J. Hickson added 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Trail Blazers. Wesley Matthews scored 14 points, but suffered a left hip contusion and did not finish the game.

Nicolas Batum played for Portland despite dealing with a back strain, but he appeared to be in pain while scoring five points in 17 largely ineffective minutes.

Those injuries may leave the Blazers short-handed as they play the remainder of a five-game homestand. Portland may be forced to recall guard Will Barton and forward Victor Claver from the D-League’s Idaho Stampede, where they had been sent on Friday.

Portland was back after a seven-game road trip against Eastern Conference teams. The Blazers went 2-5 on the trip, winning at Charlotte and Cleveland, both in overtime. They lost 99-92 at Indiana on Wednesday.

The Kings were playing on a back-to-back after a 91-82 win Friday over the Orlando and were kicking off a four-game road trip. The 0-6 start to the season was Sacramento’s worst road start since going 0-9 on the road to begin the 2007-08 season.

Sacramento dominated despite missing Tyreke Evans, its second-leading scorer and leader in assists, for the fourth time in five games with a sore knee. Salmons was 3-of-4 on 3-pointers and helped catalyze Sacramento’s run by making two of the Kings’ four treys to start the second half. Four minutes into the third quarter the Kings were up 10 and Portland never challenged as Batum and Mathews left the game for good.

The Kings led by 12 in the first quarter as Portland committed nine turnovers. The tables turned in the second quarter. Kings scored just 13 points and went through a stretch where they missed 14 of 15 field-goal attempts, allowing the Blazers to pull to 39-38. Thompson’s layup broke the dry spell for Sacramento, which went into the break up 43-41.

Notes: Portland PG Damian Lillard was named Western Conference Rookie of the month for November. Lillard tied an NBA record Saturday by becoming the second player to make a 3-pointer in each of his first 20 games. He tied former Blazer Rudy Fernandez, who did it in 2008. … The Blazers won the first meeting between the teams this season 103-86 at Sacramento. … Former Blazer Travis Outlaw had 11 points off the bench for Sacramento, all in the second half.

The Associated Press

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