The Portland Trail Blazers enter this contest with one of their better performances of the season, a 135-117 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves 135-117. However, the Portland Trail Blazers have been inconsistent this campaign, winning four of their eight games. Yet to register back-to-back wins, they will look to start a winning streak on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Sacramento Kings have had their share of trouble this season, as they continue to find their footing with four losses and five wins. The Kings are coming off an embarrassing loss to the struggling Toronto Raptors 144-123. The Sacramento Kings could not get the ball to drop in the fourth quarter, where Toronto outscored them 33-20.
In the matchup of the two-point guards, the Portland Trail Blazers' star Damian Lillard has the upper hand over the Sacramento Kings' De'Aaron Fox, whom he has dominated by outscoring over the years.
Fixture: Portland Trailblazers vs Sacramento Kings - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Saturday, January 9th, 2021 10:00 PM ET. (Sunday 8:30 AM IST)
Venue: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA.
Portland Trailblazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers showed up big time in their previous game against the Timberwolves, exploding in the first half with 75 points on the board.
Damian Lillard had the hot hand with 39 points to go with seven rebounds and as many assists. CJ McCollum chipped in with 20 points, and Jusuf Nurkic tallied 17 points on the night.
The Portland Trail Blazers have a solid unit this season and are expected to do well in the West.
They have the luxury of bringing Carmelo Anthony from the bench to lead the second unit. He recently passed Tim Duncan on the all-time scoring list to get to no. 14.
Melo is averaging 12 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 24 minutes this season.
Key Player - Damian Lillard
Damin Lillard came out guns blazing in his last outing against the Wolves, scoring 15 points in the first quarter. He tormented their defense by dropping bombs from all over the floor.
Lillard could be the key player in this matchup against the Sacramento Kings. He has displayed a sense of urgency for the franchise in adding wins to their record. The Portland Trail Blazers would not like to clinch the playoffs at no. 8 in the West like they did last postseason, where they had to face off against the eventual winners, the LA Lakers in the first round.
Portland Trail Blazers' Predicted Lineup
G Damian Lillard G CJ McCollum F Derrick Jones Jr. F Robert Covington C Jusuf Nurkic.
Sacramento Kings Preview
The Sacramento Kings have had a shaky start to their season. In their last two matchups, they beat the Chicago Bulls 128-124 and then lost to the Toronto Raptors 144-123.
Their game-night performances have been unpredictable thus far. The Sacramento Kings need to find their groove if they want to remain competitive in a competitive Western Conference.
The Sacramento Kings have six players scoring in double digits but have not been able to make it count in crunch time.
De'Aaron Fox continues to lead his side with 18.4 points, 5.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds in eight games this season.
Key Player - De'Aaron Fox
De'Aaron Fox will need to lead the Sacramento Kings with a big performance in this game. However, he could face an uphill battle in his matchup with the red-hot Lillard.
Fox has been shooting the ball well from the field, doing so with 42.6% accuracy, but needs to level up his game from the deep, where he is shooting a mere 30% this season. Nevertheless, he remains the Sacramento Kings' best bet to heat up from the floor on Saturday.
Sacramento Kings' Predicted Lineup
G De'Aaron Fox, G Buddy Hield, F Harrison Barnes, F Marvin Bagley III, C Richaun Holmes.
Trail Blazers vs Kings Match Prediction
The Sacramento Kings have managed a few wins to open their season but lack a superstar who can pave the way for them on a nightly basis.
The Portland Trail Blazers, on the other hand, have their floor general in Damian Lillard., who is coming in with his season-high 39 points off 62% shooting from the floor.
The Portland Trail Blazers are the favorites to take this one and push their season record above .500.
Where to watch Trail Blazers vs Kings?
Local coverage of the game will be on NBC Sports California and NBC Sports Northwest. The game can also be live-streamed via the NBA League Pass.Published 09 Jan 2021, 15:18 IST