Blazers Play Last Road Game Before All-Star Break In Sacramento

by Casey Holdahl
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After extending their home winning streak to nine games with a victory Thursday night at the Moda Center, the Portland Trail Blazers will try to break a three-game road losing streak Friday night versus the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

The Trail Blazers remained unbeaten at home in 2018 by defeating the Charlotte Hornets 109-103 in overtime in front of a crowd of 19,178 Thursday night at the Moda Center. Portland led by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter, but 17 fourth-quarter points from Kemba Walker helped the Hornets outscore the Blazers 32-18 to force overtime.

But Portland would hold Charlotte to 2-of-12 shooting in the extra period to come away with the six-point victory.

“I think we played great for three quarters," said Jusuf Nurkić, who finished the game with a double-double of 24 points and 14 rebounds while also blocking four shots. "I don’t know, maybe mental things in the fourth. But every win is a win and at the end of the day, we did a lot of great things tonight but we should not get in overtime. At least we won."

Considering that Portland had lost their last three games heading into Thursday night's contest, coming away with a win, even one that was more difficult than it should have been, was still a welcomed outcome.

"I think in the last few weeks we’ve played our best basketball up until this past road trip," said Damian Lillard, who moved into fifth in franchise history in scoring during Thursday's game. "Tonight we had a solid game going until the end. I still believe we’re going in the right direction as a group. I feel good about where we are."

As for the Kings, they'll enter Friday's game well rested after being idle since beating the Chicago Bulls 104-98 Monday night in Sacramento. However, they'll also likely be shorthanded, as they traded or waived George Hill, Malachi Richardson and Georgios Papagiannis in the final hours of the 2018 trade deadline. Sacramento received Iman Shumpert and Joe Johnson, though neither is expected to play Friday night.

Friday's game is the third of four meetings between the Blazers and Kings, with each team taking one of the first two contests this season.

Friday night's game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam. Brian Wheeler will have the call on NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio 620 AM.