PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — C.J. McCollum scored 18 points, Damian Lillard had 15 points and 12 assists and Portland shut down red-hot DeMarcus Cousins in the Trail Blazers 112-97 win over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.
Portland had seven players score in double figures. Gerald Henderson scored 15 points, while Mason Plumlee had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Blazers.
Cousins, who came into Tuesday off 56 and 48-point performances in his past two games, led the Kings with 17 points, but hit only 4 of 21 shots. Cousins also struggled at the free throw line, making 9 of 17.
Rajon Rondo had 15 points and 11 assists for the Kings, who lost in double overtime on Monday night.
Portland (21-26) moved into a virtual tie with Sacramento (20-25) for eighth in the Western Conference. The Blazers have won six of their past eight.
Cousins had a difficult time getting untracked in the first half, hitting just 3 of 14 shots as Portland took a 58-52 halftime lead.
The Blazers ran off nine consecutive points to take a 20-15 lead midway through the first quarter. Minutes later, consecutive three-point plays by Lillard and Allen Crabbe helped Portland to a 33-29 lead heading into the second quarter.
Cousins missed nine of his first 10 shots, but midway through the second quarter scored seven consecutive points to pull the Kings to within 47-43.
Portland maintained a narrow margin for much of the third quarter, but momentum eventually moved in the Blazers’ favor after Cousins missed two free throws, then committed an offensive foul. Portland immediately scored seven consecutive points for its largest lead of the game at 81-67.
Portland led 88-74 after three and continued to pour it on early in the fourth quarter. Crabbe and Gerald Henderson hit 3-pointers as the Blazers increased their lead to 100-79 with eight minutes remaining.
Kings: Sacramento forward Rudy Gay, who sustained a left eye injury in Monday’s double overtime loss to Charlotte, didn’t play against Portland. Sacramento coach George Karl says he’s hopeful Gay can return sometime during the Kings’ upcoming two-game road trip beginning Thursday. ... The Kings are 2-10 in the second game of back-to-back situations. ... Rondo had 11 assists, his 13th consecutive game with at least 10 assists.
Blazers: Of Portland’s first 10 baskets, Lillard had seven assists. ... With the announcement of full All-Star game rosters coming Thursday, Karl said Lillard is worthy of a West team berth, with a caveat. “He’s an All-star talent but I don’t think there are enough spots for all the All-Star talents in the West,” Karl said. ... McCollum, who studied journalism while at Lehigh, is launching a program called “CJ’s Press Pass,” where he’ll mentor journalism students at a Portland high school. ... Lillard recorded his 10th double-double of the season, a career high.
Kings: Thursday at New Orleans
Blazers: Friday at home against Charlotte