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  • 17 Dec 2014

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Lillard goes wild -- but Blazers lose wild one

SACRAMENTO KINGS 123, Portland Trail Blazers 119

Tuesday night, Sleep Train Arena, 15,518 announced attendance

  • HIGHLIGHTS

    Damian Lillard scored a career-high 41 points, including 14 consecutive Portland points late in the game, but the Blazers lost to the team that is next-to-last in the NBA Western Conference.

    The Blazers made a flurry of 3-pointers and plays in the final minute-plus to get back in contention.

    Lillard's three free throws with 16.5 seconds remaining brought Portland within 121-119, but the Kings held on, thanks largely to 4 of 4 free throws in the closing 22.3 seconds by guard Isaiah Thomas.

  • WHAT IT MEANS

    • Portland's record has slipped to 26-9. The Blazers are third in the West. Oklahoma City and San Antonio are tied for first at 17-8. Golden State and the L.A. Clippers are tied for fifth at 24-13, three games behind Portland.

    • The Blazers are 2-4 in their last six games.

    • Sacramento improved to 11-22 and leads only Utah (12-25) in the West.

  • TOP PERFORMERS

    • Lillard scored 26 of Portland's 48 points in the fourth quarter — a franchise record for individual points in any quarter, one more than Terry Porter got against Golden State in a 1992 game.

    For the game, Lillard made 13 of 24 shots from the field, including 7 of 13 from 3-point range, and he was 8 of 8 at the free-throw line. But he also had six turnovers and only four assists.

    • LaMarcus Aldridge added 24 points and 8 rebounds.

    • Robin Lopez had 18 points and 7 rebounds.

    • Nicolas Batum, playing his first full game since breaking list left middle finger, had 11 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

    • For the Kings, big man DeMarcus Cousins had 35 points and 13 rebounds, and guard Rudy Gay scored 32 points. Each had a season high in scoring.

    They fueled a 32-12 run that began late in the third quarter and continued into the fourth quarter and put Sacramento on top by 19 points. But after Gay (13 points in the fourth quarter) fouled out with 4:12 to go, the Blazers began their comeback attempt.

  • KEY STATS

    • The Kings' 123 points were their most in a game this season.

    • Sacramento shot 46.7 percent from 3-point range (7 of 15) to Portland's 37.0 percent (10 of 27).

  • NOTES

    • Lillard's previous career high of 37 points came against Golden State last season.

    • Rookie guard CJ McCollum, the No. 10 pick in the NBA draft out of Lehigh, was on the active list for the first time, but he did not play. McCollum has recovered from a broken left foot. Coach Terry Stotts said "I just didn't think tonight was the night" for McCollum to make his NBA debut.

  • QUOTES

    "That's the craziest game I've ever been a part of. I could not wait until the end. I don't ever want to be in a situation with the ball in Damian Lillard's hands. I'm glad we got the win, but that was a scary thing."

    — Cousins

    "Damian Lillard's a great player. He's an All-Star. Like Kobe Bryant said, 'Vote for the Damian Lillards of the world'. He's deserving, and what he put on that show in the fourth quarter is special."

    — Michael Malone, Sacramento coach, on Lillard

    "Once I make a few, I can get going."

    — Lillard

  • NEXT

    • The Blazers will return home for a 7 p.m. PT Wednesday game against Orlando (CSNNW), which is next-to-last in the East.

    The Magic have lost 10 in a row on the road against Western Conference teams, although they beat the Clippers 98-90 at home on Nov. 6.

    Orlando is 10-24 and is on a four-game overall losing streak.

    The Magic, led by returning guard Arron Afflalo's 24 points, downed Portland 125-119 at the Rose Garden on Jan. 7, 2013.