SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Willie Cauley-Stein scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and the Sacramento Kings bounced back from an embarrassing loss earlier in the week to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 86-82 on Friday night.
George Hill and Garrett Temple added 14 points apiece, and Kosta Koufos had 10 points and seven rebounds to help the Kings to their third straight home win over a team with legitimate playoff hopes.
Neither team managed more than 23 points in any of the first three quarters, and the Kings didn’t secure the victory until Cauley-Stein made one of two free throws with 3.4 seconds remaining.
Damian Lillard had 29 points on 9-of-25 shooting and four assists but missed a 3-pointer in the final moments for Portland. C.J. McCollum added 19 points.
Two days after losing by 46 points in Atlanta, the Kings held off the Blazers with one of their best defensive efforts of the season. Portland committed 18 turnovers and set a season low in scoring.
Cauley-Stein had started every game for Sacramento this season before coach Dave Joerger shuffled his lineup and put veteran Zach Randolph in at center.
Coming off the bench didn’t seem to bother Cauley-Stein, who came on strong at the end. He scored 10 of the Kings’ first 12 points in the fourth, including a pair of alley-oop dunks.
Portland stayed close and pulled to 82-80 on a pair of free throws from McCollum, but De’Aaron Fox’s 3-pointer helped Sacramento hold on.
The Kings led by eight early in the second before Lillard brought the Blazers back within 42-41 at halftime.
Trail Blazers: McCollum made at least three 3-pointers in each of his previous six games – the longest streak of his career – but went 0 for 4 from beyond the arc against Sacramento. . Portland shot 34.6 percent (8 of 20) in the first quarter.
Kings: Sacramento won for the second time in the last 10 games against Portland. . Buddy Hield limped off the court midway through the fourth with a sprained right ankle and did not return. . Randolph started at center for the first time this season. . Vince Carter (kidney stone) remains sidelined.
Trail Blazers: Head back to Portland to host Sacramento on Saturday.
Kings: Play at Portland on Saturday.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.