NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 9th (All times Eastern)
Sacramento Kings (27-51) at Portland Trail Blazers (50-28), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers can still improve their playoff positioning and will try to do just that Wednesday night when they conclude a three-game homestand against the Sacramento Kings.
The Blazers are fifth in the Western Conference, 2 1/2 games behind the Houston Rockets for fourth. Portland is only 1 1/2 ahead of the Golden State Warriors, who are sixth.
The Trail Blazers are 1-1 thus far on the residency, but have won five of their last six.
On Sunday, LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks and the Blazers defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 100-94, to secure their first playoff berth in three seasons on Sunday night.
Wesley Matthews netted 21 points, Damian Lillard tallied 20 points, six rebounds and five assists and Nicolas Batum added 16 points and 12 boards for Portland.
"We were happy for about five minutes," Batum said of Portland making the playoffs. "But we have four more games and then the playoffs start."
After Wednesday's challenge from the Kings, the Blazers visit Salt Lake City on Friday to take on the Utah Jazz. They finish the campaign with home games against the Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers.
The Kings are lottery-bound for the eighth consecutive season. They've dropped three straight, including the last two at home.
On Tuesday, the Kings did end Kevin Durant's streak of consecutive games with 25 or more points. but fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 107-92.
"It looked they didn't even want to be out there, to be honest," Kings head coach Michael Malone said.
DaMarcus Cousins matched Chris Webber (2001-02) for most double-doubles in a season in Sacramento franchise history with 50 after his 24-point, 14-rebound effort. Travis Outlaw also had 24 points while Ben McLemore and Jason Thompson both scored 11 in the Kings' sixth loss in eight games.
Sacramento will visit the Clippers on Saturday, then host the Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns to polish off the campaign.
Portland has won two of three this season against the Kings, but only two straight as the host. The Blazers are 9-3 in their last 12 against Sacramento in Portland.
04/09 10:20:49 ET