Rudy’s Huge Night Lifts Kings Past Blazers

What a difference a game makes.

Rudy Gay was nearly unstoppable on Friday night, as Sacramento bounced back from a tough Home Opener to run past the Portland Trail Blazers 103-94.

Tallying a season-high 40 points and pulling down 8 rebounds in the win, No. 8 was on fire from the opening tip.

Donning the black alternate jerseys in honor of Halloween night, Rudy was “lights out,” knocking down 13-of-19 from the field and 11-of-13 from the line, continuously coming up with clutch buckets to stem Blazers momentum.

Cousins also proved large in the victory, registering a plus-26 while on the floor and tallying 17 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks.

The Kings were happy about one thing in Home Opening loss to Golden State, and that was their defense. Sacramento came out in game No. 2 and continued right where they left off, holding Portland to a 3-of-11 start and pushing the lead to 7 midway through the first quarter.

Rudy Gay got off to a hot start on the other end, making 5-of-5 from the field in the first quarter, bouncing back from an off night from the field in the Home Opener.

LaMarcus Aldridge would keep the Trail Blazers close in the first scoring a game-high 11 points and hitting several tough turnaround jumpers. Sacramento’s lead would be just two heading into the second frame.

In the second quarter, the Kings and Trail Blazers would trade leads for the entire 12 minutes, ultimately finishing the second frame tied at 48. Newly acquired Chris Kaman would lead Portland with 10 points in just 10 minutes of action.

Cousins, Gay and Evans combined for a spirited effort on the glass, amassing 11 rebounds in the second frame alone as Sacramento took a 26-to-19 rebounding edge into the halftime locker room.

Rudy started the second half much like the first. No. 8 scored the 7 of the team’s first 14 points and Sacramento used stellar defense and ball movement to push the lead to 10 with 8:01 remaining in the third.

Cousins would pick up two quick fouls, having to sit midway through the quarter and Portland would respond. Steve Blake nailed a corner three to cap a 9-0 run and cut Sacramento’s lead to two with less than two minutes remaining in the third.

Tallying 23 points apiece, the teams would head to the fourth tied at 71.

A 15-3 run early in fourth quarter turned the Kings three-point deficit to a nine-point lead with 4:30 remaining in the quarter until Damian Lillard buried a three-pointer. Rudy would respond, as he did the entire night with a 10-foot pull-up jumper to increase his point total to a season-high 34.

Sacramento would not let the Blazers closer than six points for the remainder of the game, walking away with a well-deserved nine-point victory.

Kings Halloween-Themed 3D Court Projection

Halloween Home Cookin'

With the win, Sacramento improved to 5-0 all time in the friendly confines of Sleep Train Arena on Halloween Night. The last home win coming in 2004 as the Kings knocked off the Philadelphia 76ers 100-89, led by Peja Stojakovic's 28 points.

Sacramento Gets Defensive

Other than Rudy Gay, the story of tonight’s game was defense. Sacramento continued to show their improved defensive acumen with pestering perimeter D and strong rebounding.

The new-look Kings held Portland to 41 percent from the floor and an impressive 9-of-26 from beyond the arc and although Damian Lillard finished with 18 points, he was held mostly in-check for the majority of the game.

Kings Continue to Draw Fouls

After shooting 35 free throws in the Home Opener, Sacramento would again take 35 from the charity stripe in game two. This time, the River City’s squad would connect on 31, a 89 percent clip. The Kings currently leading the league in free throws attempted through two games.