|Last 5 Games||2-3||-0.3||2-3||1-4||92.2||47.4||43.5%||54.2||100.2||54.4||43.9%||52.6|
|Team Stats (All Games)||100.5||50.0||37-82||44.7%||6-18||33.3%||21-27||76.0%||53||12||19||23||7||15||4|
|vs opponents surrendering||101.1||50.5||38-83||45.3%||8-21||35.8%||18-24||75.6%||51||11||22||21||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||98.8||49.5||37-83||44.1%||6-18||32.7%||20-27||74.7%||53||12||19||22||7||15||4|
|Stats Against (All Games)||103.3||52.7||38-82||46.0%||9-22||38.0%||19-26||73.5%||50||10||23||23||8||13||6|
|vs opponents averaging||101.6||50.9||38-83||45.6%||8-22||36.3%||18-24||75.7%||51||11||22||21||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||103.9||53.7||38-81||47.0%||9-22||39.8%||19-26||72.8%||50||10||24||23||8||13||6|
|Last 5 Games||4-1||+2.7||3-2||2-3||102.6||53.8||46.4%||53.4||97.4||49.6||42.5%||52.6|
|Team Stats (All Games)||106.6||52.7||39-87||44.9%||9-25||37.0%||19-23||81.8%||54||13||23||19||6||13||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||101.1||50.5||38-83||45.4%||8-22||35.9%||18-24||75.5%||51||11||22||21||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||107.5||53.2||40-87||45.8%||9-25||36.6%||19-23||83.1%||54||13||24||18||6||14||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||102.7||51.8||40-88||45.1%||6-18||35.3%||17-22||76.5%||52||12||20||21||8||12||4|
|vs opponents averaging||101.4||50.8||38-83||45.6%||8-21||36.1%||18-24||75.5%||51||11||22||21||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||100.9||50.4||39-88||44.7%||7-18||35.4%||15-20||76.9%||50||11||21||21||8||12||3|
|Average power rating of opponents played: SACRAMENTO 96.1, PORTLAND 96.3|
|2/28/2014||@ LA LAKERS||122-126||L||2.5||L||218||O||47-93||50.5%||53||11||48-80||60.0%||39||17|
|3/28/2014||@ OKLAHOMA CITY||81-94||L||13||T||207.5||U||31-85||36.5%||56||16||33-69||47.8%||46||14|
|3/31/2014||@ NEW ORLEANS||102-97||W||4.5||W||196.5||O||38-80||47.5%||58||18||36-73||49.3%||35||13|
|4/4/2014||@ GOLDEN STATE||69-102||L||9||L||198.5||U||25-78||32.1%||52||16||42-93||45.2%||63||12|
|4/9/2014||@ PORTLAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/12/2014||@ LA CLIPPERS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/13/2014||MINNESOTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/16/2014||PHOENIX|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|3/12/2014||@ SAN ANTONIO||90-103||L||8||L||211||U||32-83||38.6%||55||12||38-88||43.2%||60||12|
|3/14/2014||@ NEW ORLEANS||111-103||W||-2||W||200.5||O||38-78||48.7%||47||16||41-86||47.7%||47||10|
|4/1/2014||@ LA LAKERS||124-112||W||-8.5||W||218||O||46-99||46.5%||60||10||41-92||44.6%||49||11|
|4/9/2014||SACRAMENTO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/11/2014||@ UTAH|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/13/2014||GOLDEN STATE|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/16/2014||LA CLIPPERS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|SACRAMENTO: GUARDS: GREIVIS VASQUEZ seems to have the edge in the point guard battle. He's a pass-first floor general who fits better in a lineup full of chuckers . . . ISAIAH THOMAS will have a major role whether he starts or not. He can score, and while his lack of size is a defensive liability, he makes up for it with harassing on-ball pressure . . . MARCUS THORNTON will eventually be relegated to a smaller role, but the gunning combo guard will get his minutes until Ben McLemore is ready . . . BEN MCLEMORE takes a lot of heat for his lack of assertiveness, but he can knock down corner threes and is an outstanding athlete, which is enough to make him a fine role player . . . JIMMER FREDETTE is kicking around as trade bait . . . Second-rounder RAY MCCALLUM should earn a bench role.FORWARDS: With his potential to be a solid defender, JASON THOMPSON is likely to retain his starting job. He's an afterthought on offense, though . . . LUC RICHARD MBAH A MOUTE seems like a natural to slide into the starting lineup. He can defend multiple spots and doesn't need touches on a team of players who do . . . CARL LANDRY could unseat Thompson. We see him in the same kind of bench role he had in Golden State. He's very good offensively and a relentless rebounder, but will struggle defensively against top-line forwards . . . JOHN SALMONS avoided the amnesty axe, though his role will likely be reduced again . . . Stretch four PATRICK PATTERSON is on the fringe of this rotation . . . Streaky shooting should have TRAVIS OUTLAW in and out of the rotation. CENTERS: The new regime of head coach Michael Malone will try again with DEMARCUS COUSINS, who continues to show flashes of dominance but too often plays and acts like a head case. He's playing for a contract, which would presumably have him on his best behavior . . . CHUCK HAYES will continue to be a second-unit glue guy at the four and five.|
|PORTLAND: GUARDS: DAMIAN LILLARD is for real, an elite shooter and a natural running the pick-and-roll. Though we're a little worried about what will happen if pick-and-pop partner LaMarcus Aldridge is dealt sometime this season . . . WESLEY MATTHEWS will be battling for playing time with Portland loading up on wings . . . C.J. MCCOLLUM can play either guard spot, but primarily he's a scorer and a potentially elite shooter. He is, however, out a few months with a foot fracture. . . MO WILLIAMS will provide the Blazers with a veteran guard presence who is more than capable of lighting it up on any given night. He is, however, a major defensive liability'If he straightens out his jumper, WILL BARTON could end up being a solid second-unit player . . . EARL WATSON gives them a much more reliable back-up point guard than Ronnie Price was . . . Sharpshooter ALLEN CRABBE will likely find himself in the D-League early on. FORWARDS: LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE's name will be in trade rumors all season, but it won't affect his role as this team's No. 1 option . . . NICOLAS BATUM will continue to do a little bit of everything, playing point forward to allow Lillard to play off the ball at times, and serving as a dangerous three-point shooter . . . DORELL WRIGHT can lock opponents down when he wants to. He'll push Wesley Matthews for minutes . . . Portland will be the next team to try to squeeze production out of 2012 No. 5 pick THOMAS ROBINSON. After Sacramento and Houston both gave up on him almost immediately, Robinson in danger of falling off the NBA map . . . VICTOR CLAVER provides some energy as a second-unit bit player . . . JOEL FREELAND has six fouls to give. CENTERS: ROBIN LOPEZ will be a better fit alongside Aldridge than J.J. Hickson was. Lopez isn't skilled, but he can take some defensive responsibilities away from Aldridge . . . MEYERS LEONARD is, as expected, still a work in progress. He's enormous and there's some raw talent, but he too often looks lost.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO BASKETBALL PREVIEW (SACRAMENTO-PORTLAND) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Kings-Trail Blazers Preview* =============================
By KEVIN CHROUST STATS Writer
Sacramento (27-51) at Portland (50-28), 10:00 p.m. EDT
With a playoff berth locked up, the Portland Trail Blazers can now get greedy and turn their attention to an outside shot at home-court advantage in the first round.
With four games remaining and a 2 1/2-game gap between themselves and the No. 4 seed, the Blazers will certainly need to take advantage of Wednesday night's home date with the struggling and banged-up Sacramento Kings.
While starting the playoffs at home would be a nice perk, Portland isn't concerned with who its opponent is.
"We're in the West, so I don't really care," forward Nicolas Batum told the team's official website. "Whoever we play is going to be tough anyways, from San Antonio to Phoenix, Memphis, Dallas, Houston, Clippers. That's (the media's) job to choose and to debate, that's not mine. So we'll see."
Sunday's 100-94 victory over New Orleans assured the Trail Blazers (50-28) their first postseason spot since 2010-11 and first 50-win season since going 50-32 in 2009-10.
"Fifty wins is always a big honor in this league," said LaMarcus Aldridge, who led the Blazers with 25 points and 18 rebounds. "Especially being in the West with so many good teams. It's definitely not something to take for granted. Guys are happy about it and we're definitely happy to be locked into the playoffs."
After losing eight of 11 last month, the Blazers have won five of six since Aldridge returned from a seven-game absence due to a back injury - and put themselves back in the race for the No. 4 seed. They'll need the Rockets to falter, however, as Houston has three fewer losses than Portland and also owns the tiebreaker.
The Blazers outrebounded the Pelicans 50-38 and limited New Orleans to 42.2 percent shooting. That's the same percentage they've held opponents to in the last six games, but the Blazers aren't taking too much pride in any of their accomplishments at this point.
"We haven't done anything yet," Batum told the team's official website. "We've had a good season so far, but we have four more games, and then the real season starts."
The Blazers will now try to avoid splitting the four-game season series with the Kings after falling 123-119 in Sacramento on Jan. 7 despite 41 points from Damian Lillard.
DeMarcus Cousins scored 35 to lead the Kings while Rudy Gay added 32. Cousins is averaging 34.3 points in three games against Portland this season while Gay is averaging 31.0 in two.
Sacramento (27-51) has lost eight of 10 on the road and three straight overall after Tuesday's 107-92 home loss to Oklahoma City.
Cousins led the way with 24 points and 14 rebounds, his 50th double-double to tie Chris Webber's Sacramento-era single-season record for the franchise. Travis Outlaw also scored 24.
They were without Gay (back), power forward Reggie Evans (back) and point guard Isaiah Thomas, who missed his eighth straight game with a bruised right quadriceps. Coach Michael Malone said the effort still could have been better from those who did suit up.
"We had some guys that played with no energy," said Malone, whose team has shot 40.3 percent in its last three games. "It looked they didn't even want to be out there, to be honest."
|Last Updated: 12/19/2014 4:17:21 PM EST|