Kings Dethrone Blazers In Final Seconds
April 15, 2012, 7:32 pm
With four of five Blazer starters scoring in double figures and Wesley Matthews torching the nets for a career high eight three-pointers, Portland never trailed against the Kings for more than 44 minutes in Sacramento’s Power Balance Arena. Unfortunately, NBA games are 48 minutes long.
Those final four minutes made the difference in a heartbreaking 104-103 loss—Portland’s 15th defeat this season in games decided by five points or less.
The Kings took their first lead of the game with 3:25 to play in the game on a DeMarcus Cousins five footer. The game went back and forth from there. With ten seconds to go, Cousins drove the baseline on Joel Pryzbilla and made a difficult left-handed shot from close range to make the score 102-100. Matthews answered yet again, getting free of Francisco Garcia for a corner 3-pointer, giving the Blazers a 103-102 lead with 5.8 seconds left.
Matthews’ 8th three of the game still left enough time for the Kings and Marcus Thornton, who tossed in a 17-footer off an inbound pass with just 3.2 seconds to go. Raymond Felton then missed a desperation half court shot at the buzzer.
Matthews led all scorers with 31 points for the Blazers, who made 16 of their 32 three-point attempts. Felton scored 19 points, Nicolas Batum chipped in 14, and J.J. Hickson recorded another double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds in his return to Sacramento after the Kings waived him earlier this season.
Portland has now dropped two straight and four of five, and are close to being eliminated from playoff contention in the Western Conference.
After the Blazers built a 10-point lead in the fourth, the Kings scored 10 unanswered points. Thornton made a fastbreak lay-in and Tyreke Evans followed with a layup in traffic, tying the game at 91 with 5:46 left.
After shooting poorly in the opening half, Matthews went off in the third quarter when he made five 3s and scored 19 points, helping the Blazers take an 81-79 lead into the fourth.
Three starters for Sacramento scored 18 points or more—Cousins led the Kings with 23, Evans and Thornton each added 20, and rookie Isaiah Thomas put up 18 points and 8 assists.
It was the first home game in Sacramento since ownership announced Friday at the NBA owners meetings that they were backing out of a proposed downtown arena plan in Sacramento.
The Blazers announced before the game that Jamal Crawford would rest and not play in this first game of a back-to-back tandem, and Raymond Felton will rest and sit out tomorrow night’s contest in Phoenix. Tip off for that game is set for 7:00 p.m. You can hear all the action on 750 am The Game, KXTG Portland.