THE FACTS: The short-handed Sacramento Kings came out flat in the third quarter and the Portland Trail Blazers ran them out of the gym. After leading by just four at the intermission, the Blazers outscored the Kings by 13 in the second half for the 103-86 victory.
With Kings starter Isaiah Thomas missing the game due to personal reasons and reserve Aaron Brooks going down early with an injured left ankle, rookie Damian Lillard scorched the Kings with 22 points and nine assists. All five Blazers starters scored in double-figures against the short-handed Kings in the win.
The Kings bench, led by Marcus Thornton (14), Jimmer Fredette (13) and Thomas Robinson (12), scored a total of 46 points.
QUOTABLE: "Well, I wasn't in the draft room when Damian was drafted and I don't know who was on the board, but I'm glad he's with us."
-- Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts on Lillard
THE STAT: In their home gym the Kings hit just 1-of-11 attempts from behind the arc, including 0-for-6 in the first half. On the flip side, the Blazers went 14-for-27 (52 percent) in the win.
TURNING POINT: After a competitive first half that ended with a 46-42 Blazers lead, the Kings fell apart in the third quarter. Portland used a balance attack to outscore the home team 28-16 and take a 16-point lead to the fourth.
QUOTABLE II: "Really I'm not trying to fight for it. I'm really more concerned with us winning games. I think (that) as long as we are winning games, then that means I've played well and it will give me a chance to be in that fight."
-- Lillard on his early push to be a Rookie of the Year candidate
HOT: Lillard was a star tonight for Portland. The rookie out of Weber State finished the game with 22 points, hitting 7-for10 field goal attempts, which included an impressive 5-for-6 from behind the 3-point line.
HOT II: Fredette had a big first half off the bench for the Kings. After coming alive for 18 points Sunday against the Lakers, the second-year guard out of BYU scored 10 of his 13 points and handed out four of his six assists in the game's first 24 minutes.
GOOD MOVE: After falling behind 25-10 early in the first half, Keith Smart went to Fredette and Thornton and the Kings responded with a 24-9 run to tie the game at 34-34.
BAD MOVE: The Kings had no answer for the Trail Blazers in the third quarter.
NOTABLE: Kings starters Isaiah Thomas (personal reasons) and DeMarcus Cousins (suspension) were out, while veteran reserve Francisco Garcia missed the game as well while battling the flu.
UP NEXT: For the Trail Blazers, Friday vs. Houston, Sunday vs. Chicago, Wednesday @ Phoenix. For the Kings, Friday vs. Atlanta, Sunday vs. Brooklyn, Wednesday vs. L.A. Lakers.