National Basketball Association
Preview
Portland at Sacramento
When: 6:00 PM ET, Sunday, March 1, 2015
Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, California

The Portland Trail Blazers may have finally found their swagger Friday in a comeback win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Trail Blazers look to build on that performance and win a third straight game Sunday when they visit the Sacramento Kings. After starting the season 30-8, Portland had won just seven of 18 games before recovering from a 13-point, fourth-quarter deficit to stymie Oklahoma City behind All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard.

Aldridge had 29 points and 16 rebounds and Lillard also tallied 29 points - his highest output since Jan. 11 - in the 115-112 triumph. "The way that we were there for each other - the high fives, the emotion from everybody - I think it's back to what we're accustomed to, Lillard told reporters. "That's what we do. We play exciting basketball games and get the crowd into it. And that's what we did." Sacramento, which has split its first four games under new coach George Karl, is completing a three-game homestand before hitting the road for eight straight - all but one against the Eastern Conference.

TV: 6 p.m. ET, CSN California (Sacramento), CSN Northwest (Portland)

ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (38-19): Arron Afflalo stepped up against the Thunder in his third game with the team, scoring 11 of his 18 points - the most by a Blazers reserve this season - in the fourth quarter and shooting 5-of-6 from the field. "I'm trying to build individually, more and more trying to find my rhythm within the group, Afflalo told The Oregonian. "This was a big game for us." Portland, which is 13-13 on the road, plays 15 of its final 25 games away from the Moda Center as it jockeys for playoff seeding.

ABOUT THE KINGS (20-36): Ben McLemore scored 21 points and Ray McCallum added a season-high 20 in the 107-96 loss to San Antonio on Friday as All-Star DeMarcus Cousins (ankle, hip) joined point guard Darren Collison (core) on the sidelines. Cousins, walking in a boot, joked with his 63-year-old coach that “I walk around like you.” Karl is hopeful Cousins will be back for the Trail Blazers game. Sacramento made just 1-of-4 3-pointers and committed 17 turnovers while forcing just six against San Antonio.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Kings are 2-11 when Cousins has not played this season.

2. Since scoring 34 against the Clippers on Jan. 14, Lillard has averaged 19.9 points on 38.9 percent shooting, including 25 percent from the arc, in his last 19 games.

3. Kings PG Andre Miller is averaging 6.5 points, four rebounds and 4.3 assists in his first four games since coming over from the Wizards.

PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 104, Kings 101
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Portland 38-19 W2 25-6 13-13 1-1 37-18 8-2 20-13
Sacramento 20-36 L1 13-18 7-18 2-3 18-33 4-8 14-23
Last Meeting
Portland Sacramento
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
1/19/15 SAC 94 POR 98 98 35 39.8 94 53 44.7
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Portland D. Lillard 22 31.6 8
Sacramento R. Gay 26 52.6 5
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Portland D. Lillard 6 2 4
Sacramento D. Cousins 19 4 15
Assists Player  
Portland D. Lillard 5
Sacramento D. Collison 8
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Portland D. Lillard 1278 43.5 266
Sacramento R. Gay 1116 44.1 274
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Portland L. Aldridge 548 139 409
Sacramento D. Cousins 560 133 427
Assists Player  
Portland D. Lillard 364
Sacramento D. Collison 281
Quickchart Matchup
Portland Off vs  Sacramento Defense
102.3 Points For
104.3 Points Against
44.3 FG%
45.0 FG%
45.7 Reb
40.6 Reb
Sacramento Off vs  Portland Defense
100.1 Points For
97.4 Points Against
45.0 FG%
43.3 FG%
40.6 Reb
45.2 Reb