• The Kings, on three days rest, were worn down by a Blazers team playing the second of a back-to-back and fell at home 118-100. It was the last game of Sacramento’s home stand as the team will now hit the road for their final three games before the All-Star break.

    Damian Lillard sat the entire fourth quarter after putting on a three-quarter performance of a lifetime. He finished the game with 50 points on 26 shots and hit 8-of-13 makes from the 3-point line.

    Defense was in short supply for both teams for much of the first half, but it was the Blazers coming out ahead after the first 24 minutes of play. Led by Lillard’s 28 points in less than 18 minutes, Portland stretched their lead to 10 at the break.

    The Kings, who were down to just De’Aaron Fox at the point guard position needed a ball handler and Bogdan Bogdanovic stepped in. Bogdanovic responded and showed an ability to handle the offense when given the opportunity. He finished the half with 10 points, three boards and an assist.

    Sacramento displayed a bit more aggression than they had lately and forced the ball into the paint in the first half. They finished the half outscoring the Blazers 32-to-16 in the paint. However, the Kings still weren’t able to get to the charity stripe and were almost doubled in free throw attempts, 11-to-6.

    After falling behind by as much as 12 in the third quarter, with 5 minutes left to play the Kings found themselves down just one, in large because of a 9-0 run. But, the Blazers and Lillard responded with a 17-0 run. Lillard finished the period with 22 points as Sacramento couldn’t find an answer.

    Kosta Koufos was the only bright spot for the Kings’ bench for much of the night as the rest of the reserves began the game 0-of-11 before Vince Carter knocked down a jumper with just under 11 minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

    Paired with Lillard’s scalding performance, Sacramento’s offense fell into a funk to close out the third and into the fourth quarter; the Kings were held to zero made buckets for more than five minutes during the stretch.

    After trailing by as much as 23, the Kings did get the Blazers’ lead down to 13 with just under six minutes to play in the fourth. This prompted Lillard to make his way to the scorer’s table, but a 10-3 run by Portland allowed the star of the night to return to his seat on the visitor’s bench.

    NOTES

    • After shooting a respectable 46 percent in the first half, Sacramento made just 38 percent of their attempts in the second half.
    • Damian Lillard tied the Kings team in the third quarter with 22 points. Lillard, who didn’t play at all in the fourth period outscored the rest of Portland’s starters 50-to-39. Lillard finished the game with eight 3-pointers made and the Kings finished with just nine.
    • Buddy Hield, who began the game 0-of-5, went on to connect on five straight 3-pointers and finished the night with 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting.

Fantasy News

  • Trevon Bluiett
    PF, Utah Jazz

    Trevon Bluiett and Juwan Morgan sign with the Jazz in the hopes of one day playing in an NBA game.

    Bluiett was on a two-way contract with the Pelicans last season while Juwan Morgan played for the Jazz in the 2019 Summer League. They will both compete for a roster spot in training camp but neither is a guarantee to make the final roster. They both have yet to see the court in an NBA game and can be ignored from a fantasy perspective until that day comes.

    Source: Tony Jones on Twitter

  • Zach Collins
    C, Portland Trail Blazers

    Zach Collins (ankle) began daily contact workouts on Monday and is on pace to head into training camp fully healthy.

    Collins is heading into what could be a breakout season as he is likely to start at the power forward position. In the 2019 playoffs, the Gonzaga product blocked a shot in 11 of the 16 games including three games in which he blocked three, four and five respectively. Collins has averaged around 33% from distance throughout his career which is exactly what he shot in the postseason (7-21). If he is able to improve from long range and plays starters minutes, Collins is a can't-miss player. It's far from a guarantee though as the 21-year-old has never finished with standard-league value. It does seem like Collins will be ready for training camp barring a major setback.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Cory Joseph
    PG, Sacramento Kings

    Nick Nurse said that reports of Cory Joseph missing the FIBA World Cup are “incorrect”.

    Nurse added that he spoke to Joseph on Wednesday and that the guard has his flights booked to China. Joseph was in Canada’s camp at home earlier this month, but did not make the trip to Australia and has missed the past four exhibition games. The situation has become a little bit murky but Canada Basketball keeps holding out hope that Joseph will rejoin the team before they depart for China, which doesn’t happen until Monday.

    Source: John Casey on Twitter

  • Tyronn Lue
    PG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting former Cavs championship-winning coach Tyronn Lue has agreed to join the Clippers as their top assistant coach to Doc Rivers.

    The Lakers and Clippers rivalry continues to heat up. Lue was very close to a deal with the Lakers in May to become their head coach, but the sides couldn’t reach an agreement. Lue now joins Kawhi Leonard as another person to spurn the Lakers this offseason.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • PJ Tucker
    SF, Houston Rockets

    P.J. Tucker says he is optimistic about signing a contract extension soon.

    The 34-year-old 3-and-D wing hopes to extend his deal with the Rockets, but a potential extension wouldn't begin until his age-36 season. Houston has him under contract for two more seasons at this point, so they may not be motivated enough to get something done this offseason. However, a maximum Tucker extension would only have him in the $10 million per year range. Even as a 37-year-old, that could be a great deal if he can keep up his current production. Tucker remains a sneaky source of threes and steals late in fantasy drafts or off the wire.

    Source: Kurt Helin on Twitter

  • Jaylen Adams
    PG, Milwaukee Bucks

    The Bucks officially announced the signings of guards Jaylen Adams and Rayjon Tucker on Tuesday.

    Adams and Tucker have their work cut out for them in their bid to claim a roster with the big club, as the Bucks have a reasonably deep guard rotation. Adams and Tucker are more than likely competing to get playing time in the G-League this season and can be ignored in fantasy.

    Source: NBA

  • Jeff Ledbetter
    G, San Antonio Spurs

    The Spurs have offered summer league guard Jeff Ledbetter an Exhibit 10 deal, but he is still mulling over his options which include playing in Europe.

    Ledbetter had a productive summer league and now finds himself with a chance to play for the Austin Spurs of the G-League. Ledbetter is sure to be staring at a bigger payday in Europe, so his choice will be an interesting one. We should have a decision soon.

    Source: Nicola Lupo on Twitter

  • Eric Mika
    C, Sacramento Kings

    The Kings announced on Tuesday that they signed summer league standout C Eric Mika to an exhibit 10 contract.

    The former BYU big man is now set up to play for the Stockton Kings of the G-League. The Kings have a deep big man rotation, and it's unlikely that we'll see much, if any, of Mika on the roster this season.

    Source: Sean Cunningham on Twitter

  • JA Morant
    PG, Memphis Grizzlies

    Ja Morant (right knee) said that he is completely healed from the minor knee surgery earlier this summer, saying he is "100 percent right now."

    Morant will look to get back into the swing of things in the coming weeks as he prepares for his rookie season. Morant has the talent and the role on rebuilding team and is undoubtedly going to cost a pretty penny in fantasy drafts.

    Source: Peter Edmiston on Twitter

  • Derrick Alston
    Team, New York Knicks

    The Westchester Knicks have named Derrick Alston as the new head coach, replacing Mike Miller who was promoted to join David Fizdale’s staff.

    Alston, a former NBA player, has been an assistant for Westchester for four years. Before that, Alston was a player development coach with the Rockets. This will be Alston’s first head coaching gig as he continues to move up the ladder.

    Source: Ian Begley on Twitter