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NBA -- Kings' road woes continue, fall to Blazers


PhilBoxing.com


SACRAMENTO -- Although center DeMarcus Cousins has already been reinstated following a team-imposed suspension last December 22, he isn't allowed to play yet and stayed at home when the Sacramento Kings traveled to Portland Wednesday night.

Without their 6-foot-11, 270-pound leading scorer and rebounder, the Kings easily fell prey to the Blazers, 109-91, at the Rose Garden. Cousins' recent suspension stems from a December 21 inside at Staples Center where he had a heated confrontation with Kings head coach Keith Smart. This was Cousins third suspension of the season, two of which were slapped by the NBA.


Without the troubled Cousins, an extremely talented big man from the University of Kentucky, the opportunistic Blazers pounded the shaded lane with 50 points. They also decisively outrebounded the Kings, 53-35. And after taking the half, 62-44, the Blazers coasted to victory and led by as many as 26 points.

Paced by the 28 points and 12 rebounds of power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland had a long list of top flight perofrmers. Nicolas Batum finished with a masterful 18 points, six rebounds and five assists while Damian Lillard added 17 points and 11 assists. J.J. Hickson also turned in 17 and 14 rebounds.

"We gave what we could and what he had, but we had to play a perfect game to pull this off. We'll take our lumps here and then try to put our team back together again and get ready to play our next basketball game, " coach Keith Smart told the Sacramento Bee.

The Kings did not come remotely close to playing a perfect game. They converted only 35 of 86 field goals (40.7 percent) and sank just nine of 24 threes (37.5 percent). Although Sacramento only had 10 turnovers, they lost the assists battle, 31-28.

John Salmons had 19 points, four rebounds and two assists while 5-foot-9 reserve guard tallied 12 for the Kings.

The humiliating defeat pushed Sacramento's road record down to 1-12 and 9-19 overall (AGM, JR).


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Alberto G. Montefalcon, Jr..


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