Brown pinpoints Kings’ ‘Achilles heel’ after loss to Trail Blazers

NBC Sports Bay Area

Kings stars De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis combined for 77 points Tuesday night at Moda Center, but Sacramento still fell short in a 130-113 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The rest of the Kings’ offense struggled to put up points in the defeat, and the team’s poor defense on the night ultimately was the difference-maker as the Blazers poured in a season-high in points after entering the contest ranking 29th in points per game.

“Obviously, we didn’t do a good job defensively,” Kings coach Mike Brown told reporters after the loss. “That’s been our Achilles heel for a while now, and to give up 130 points on 50 percent [shooting] from the field, and allow their bench, especially, to get going the way they did bodes for a long night.”

The Kings aren’t where they need to be defensively, Brown said, at least on a consistent basis.

Portland’s bench outscored Sacramento’s bench 65-17 on Tuesday, and Harrison Barnes’ nine points were the third-most for the Kings behind Fox, who tied his season-high with 43 points, and Sabonis, who tallied 34 points with his 25th double-double of the season.

But it isn’t the team’s scoring that has Brown concerned — despite Sacramento shooting just 23.8 percent from 3-point range in the loss. The coach knows that if the Kings can’t get defensive stops, losses are more than likely to follow.

“At the end of the day, we’ve got scoring,” Brown said. “But just like everybody else, [Fox and Sabonis] as well as the rest of the group didn’t do a good job defending. I know Foxy can score. I know Sabonis can score, especially when they have the young bigs that they have out there.

“It’s about, can we generate some stops as a group? Can we take care of the ball as a group? Can we not send them to the free-throw line as a group?”

Nearly half (60) of the Blazers’ points came in the paint against the Kings, and Portland also scored 18 points off Sacramento’s 12 turnovers. It was a lopsided performance between the two teams despite the Blazers having lost nine of their last 10 contests.

The Kings’ shortcomings on Tuesday night certainly will send Brown and Co. back to the drawing board to figure out their defensive lapses. The team still is 17-12 on the season after back-to-back losses, but the Kings coach hopes winnable games turned into losses don’t come back to bite Sacramento down the stretch.

“When a game is right in front of you, and it’s for the taking and you don’t go get it, it’s really disappointing,” Brown said.

PHP Code Snippets Powered By :