PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 20 points and the Portland Trail Blazers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 102-89 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.
Meyers Leonard added 16 off the bench for the Blazers, playing without leading scorer Damian Lillard for the second straight game because of a sprained left ankle.
DeMarcus Cousins scored 28 points but the Kings had their four-game winning streak snapped.
The Kings trailed by as many as 20 points in the second half but Cousins made a pair of free throws that pulled Sacramento within 85-76 with 5:50 left. The Kings couldn’t get any closer and Portland extended the lead to 90-78 on Maurice Harkless’ 3-pointer.
Matt Barnes’ corner 3-pointer with 2 minutes to go pulled Sacramento within 98-87, before Cousins hit on a floater to get closer. Mason Plumlee answered with a dunk for Portland and the Kings couldn’t catch up.
Plumlee finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds.
The teams last met on Dec. 20, a 126-121 Sacramento victory that was marked by drama — namely an ejection reversal — involving Cousins.
Cousins scored 55 points in the win. But with less than 2 minutes remaining, he was celebrating a foul call on his go-ahead basket and he appeared to spit his mouthpiece at the Blazers’ bench.
Cousins was hit with a technical, his second, and headed off to the locker room. But moments later he was called back when the officiating crew reversed the call. He sank the free throw and later in a postgame TV interview called the whole drama “ridiculous.”
That victory touched off the Kings’ four-game winning streak.
Cousins hit the first basket of the game on Wednesday night. But the Blazers jumped out to a 20-12 lead on Harkless’ dunk.
Portland went on to lead by as many as 17 points in the first half, taking a 60-44 lead into the break. Allen Crabbe, who replaced Lillard in the starting lineup, led all players with 13 points.
Cousins, booed whenever he touched the ball, led the team at the half with eight points, but he had also collected three fouls.
McCollum hit a 3-pointer that pushed Portland’s lead to 67-47. Cousins made a 3-pointer, his first of the game, that pulled the Kings to 73-61, then made another that narrowed it to 77-69 early in the fourth quarter.
Kings: Sacramento was without Rudy Gay because of a right hip flexor strain. Gay had played Monday in the 102-100 victory over the 76ers.
Trail Blazers: Longtime NBA coach George Karl caused a bit of a stir in Portland with comments he made to New York Magazine about Damian Lillard. “I was watching the Portland Trail Blazers play, and I was trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with this team?” Karl asked. “My conclusion is that Damian Lillard is getting too much attention.” Blazers coach Terry Stotts, asked to respond before the game, said: “When it comes to my team and my players, he needs to stay in his own lane.”
Kings: The Kings host the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.
Trail Blazers: The Trail Blazers visit the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.