Sacramento Kings eye fifth straight win against slumping Blazers

Dec 26, 2023, 7:29 AM | Updated: 12:47 pm

Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings reacts during the second half of their win over the Ph...

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 22: Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings reacts during the second half of their win over the Phoenix Suns at Golden 1 Center on December 22, 2023 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings look to continue their recent success against the Trail Blazers when the teams meet Tuesday night in Portland.

Sacramento has won the past four meetings between the teams, including a 121-118 home overtime victory on Nov. 8.

The Kings won that contest without star guard De’Aaron Fox, while emerging scorer Anfernee Simons was out for the Trail Blazers.

Simons is making the offseason trade of Damian Lillard much less painful by scoring 23 or more points in eight of nine games since returning from a thumb injury. He was injured in a season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and missed the next 18 games.

But now he’s become a virtual scoring machine and has knocked down seven 3-pointers in each of the past two games.

Overall, Simons has tallied 30 or more points four times, including a season-best 41-point effort against the Washington Wizards in a 118-117 loss on Thursday.

Simons scored 22 points in the fourth quarter against Washington but was bummed out afterward due to a layup he missed with 23.6 seconds left. It would have given Portland the lead and changed the complexion of the finish.

“We wouldn’t have been in that position where we (were) looking for a last shot if I just made the layup, got a stop,” Simons said.

Simons scored 25 points in Saturday’s 126-106 road loss against the Golden State Warriors. Portland was pummeled 49-30 on the boards while losing for the ninth time in the past 10 games.

The Kings held a 50-36 rebounding edge in last month’s win over the Trail Blazers, and star big man Domantas Sabonis barely missed a triple-double with 27 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. He made 11 of 14 shots.

Sabonis enters the rematch with two straight triple-doubles and three in the past four games. He has five this season and 37 in his career.

Sabonis had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists on Saturday, but the Kings fell 110-98 at home to the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Timberwolves.

Fox scored 27 points and Keegan Murray added 20, but Sacramento was just 8 of 33 from 3-point range and trailed by as many as 22 points.

“They’re the No. 1 in defense in the NBA and they’re a really good team,” Sabonis said of the Timberwolves. “That’s why they’re No. 1 in the West. I thought we did a really good job of fighting throughout the game. We just didn’t make wide-open shots early on and mostly throughout the game.”

The Kings were without explosive reserve Malik Monk due to a foot injury. His status for Tuesday is unknown.

Monk is averaging 14.3 points and 5.2 assists while shooting a solid 41.2 percent from 3-point range.

“We missed him a lot,” Kings coach Mike Brown said. “Malik generates a lot of offense for us, and I thought in the first half, we struggled a little bit offensively because our looks weren’t as easy because Malik’s a guy who can go get it off the dribble.

“He’s going to draw a lot of attention, especially in the pick-and-roll, in transition, and he’s another high-level shooter to have out on the floor, so missing him definitely was a factor because of his ability to make the game easier for his teammates.”

Monk has seven 20-point outings this season, including a 23-point performance against Portland when Fox was out with an ankle injury. Monk was 15 of 19 from the free-throw line and just 4 of 16 from the field.

Trail Blazers guard Shaedon Sharpe (adductor) has missed the past two games.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Be sure to tune in to Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Blazers coverage, beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST on Game Night before a 7 p.m. PST tip-off from the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.

Upcoming Sacramento Kings schedule

  • Friday, December 29th – Sacramento Kings @ Atlanta Hawks – 4:30 PM PST
  • Sunday, December 31st – Sacramento Kings @ Memphis Grizzlies – 5:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, January 2nd – Sacramento Kings vs. Charlotte Hornets – 7:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, January 3rd – Sacramento Kings vs. Orlando Magic – 7:00 PM PST

–Field Level Media

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