Blazers Finally Score 100 in Win Over Kings
Portland 105, Sacramento 92
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 26 (Ticker) -- Zach Randolph and Juan Dixon finally got the Portland Trail Blazers into triple digits.
Randolph had 22 points and nine rebounds and Dixon added 21 points, six assists and four steals as the Trail Blazers posted a 105-92 triumph over the sliding Sacramento Kings.
"We scored 100?" Randolph said. "I guess that's cool. We won, that's all that matters."
"Offensively, the execution was there," Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "Defensively, we did a nice job of keeping those guys in front of us. After the five turnovers we had in the first quarter, I think we settled down and started taking care of the ball."
Dixon has played well since being inserted into the starting lineup, averaging 17 points in his last five games.
"It feels like college," Dixon said. "I'm having fun out there. Coach is giving me an opportunity to play my game and it's working for me right now."
The Trail Blazers trailed, 37-31, in the second quarter before reeling off 20 straight points. Dixon, who had six points, two assists and two steals during the surge, capped the run by assisting on Randolph's jumper with 2:17 remaining.
"We're more assertive now," Randolph said. "The guys were playing good. Juan's been playing great since he got in the starting lineup, Steve (Blake) has been playing great. Great point-guard play and great 2-guard play."
Sacramento helped Portland during the burst by missing all 10 of its shots from the floor and committing six turnovers.
"Definitely, defense (keyed the run)," Dixon said. "We think we have some active guys that can protect the paint and we have guys that can guard the perimeter.
The Blazers never trailed thereafter, although the Kings managed to cut the deficit to 55-53 with an 8-0 burst to open the second half.
Portland responded with a 13-5 run, with Randolph scoring six of points, and cruised the rest of the way.
Peja Stojakovic scored 19 points for Sacramento, which lost its fifth straight game despite having every starter in double figures.
With the loss, Sacramento fell to 7-9 at Arco Arena, where fans and players alike are beginning to show the frustration of a season that is starting to slip away.
"It's not good," Stojakovic said. "It's us. We can't blame anybody. We have to be more consistent, obviously. There is talent (here), but we have to use that talent and be more consistent and play as a team on both ends of the court."
"It was a (tough) loss," said Kings center Brad Miller, who scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. "I don't have any answers. If I knew I would tell you."
After Stojakovic hit the first two 3-point attempts for Sacramento, the Kings went dry from behind the arc, finishing 5-for-19 for the game. Mike Bibby made just 1-of-5 3-pointers and finished 5-of-15 from the floor.
"Obviously, I'm just really disappointed in the way we played," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "We just played very poorly after the first quarter, especially offensively."
The game featured several runs by both teams, with Sacramento using a 12-0 run to grab an early 12-4 lead. Portland answered with a 12-2 burst of their own, but the Kings scored 12 of the next 15 before settling for a 30-25 lead at the end of the first quarter.