Lillard scores 22 to help Trail Blazers beat Kings 98-94
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Damian Lillard scored 22 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:20 remaining, and the Portland Trail Blazers ended a three-game losing streak Monday night with a 98-94 win over the Sacramento Kings.
Lillard had six points during the final 80 seconds and helped rally the Trail Blazers (31-11) from an 11-point, second-half deficit. Wesley Matthews scored 17 for Portland.
Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge left in the second quarter with a left hand injury and did not return. The status of Aldridge, who had 10 first-quarter points, was unknown. Aldridge leads Portland with averages of 23.5 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.
Rudy Gay scored 26 points and DeMarcus Cousins had 22 points and 19 rebounds for Sacramento (16-25). The Kings, who led by 13 in the first half, lost their fourth consecutive game.
In a matchup of teams that rank among the NBA's top 10 in rebounding, Sacramento clobbered Portland 53-35 on the boards.
The Blazers, trailing 75-67 after three, began to mount a comeback early in the fourth. Will Barton's layup sparked a 12-2 spurt, and a 3-pointer by Nic Batum gave Portland an 84-83 lead with 5:03 remaining.
Cousins tied it at 89 on two free throws with 1:50 left, then fouled out 8 seconds later. After Lillard gave Portland the lead for good with 1:20 to play, the Blazers held off Sacramento by making five free throws during the final 1:02.
Sacramento dominated most of the first quarter, and Darren Collison and Ben McLemore hit 3-pointers to ignite a 23-5 run for a 25-14 Kings lead.
Portland ran off nine consecutive points to cut the deficit to 31-27 early in the second. A 7-0 surge, punctuated by Meyers Leonard's fast-break dunk, gave the Blazers a 47-43 lead 3 minutes before halftime. But the Kings had a strong finish to the quarter, and Cousins' tip-in not long before the buzzer gave Sacramento a 56-51 halftime lead.
Sacramento continued to control the game during the third quarter, using an 8-0 run to build a lead as large as 11 points.
Kings: F Jason Thompson played his 500th career game with Sacramento, third-most in franchise history. ... Cousins has double-doubles in 20 of his past 22 games. He returned to the lineup after missing one game with a sprained ankle. ... In the first game between these teams on Oct. 31, Gay scored a season-high 40 points.
Trail Blazers: F Victor Claver, who played only 10 minutes in Portland's previous nine games, started the second half in Aldridge's absence. ... Before the game, Blazers owner Paul Allen presented a plaque to Matthews after he became the franchise's career leader in 3-pointers with 778.
Kings: Home against New Jersey on Wednesday.
Trail Blazers: At Phoenix on Wednesday.