Around 11 a.m. this morning it was announced Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum would not start against Sacramento. Fans all started to assume the Blazers weren’t gunning for the No. 3 seed.
Well, someone forgot to tell the six Blazers who suited up tonight. Let’s start with Anfernee Simons.
The 2018 Blazers first round pick. The Lillard Protege. The Portland Prodigy? Simons looked every bit the part Wednesday against Sacramento. Now, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, but Simons deserves a ton of credit.
The IMG Academy product went off on the Kings with career highs in points (37), assists (9) and rebounds (6). Simons hit 7-of-11 from deep.
Skal Labissiere nearly had a career-high scoring, but finished with 29 points, and tied a career-high 15 points.
Jake Layman and Gary Trent Jr. each scored 19 points. Meyers Leonard picked up a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Zach Collins was the last Blazer to play. He came off the bench and got 13 points in 13 minutes.
Portland was down 28 points right before halftime. The Blazers outscored Kings 74-42 in the second half.
With their win, and the Denver Nuggets win over Minnesota, the Blazers are now the No. 3 seed.
Portland will host games one and two in the Moda Center on Sunday and Tuesday. The series switches to Oklahoma City for games three and four on Friday, April 19, and Sunday, April 21. If necessary, game five in Portland (Tues. April 23), game six in OKC (Thurs. April 25), and game seven in Portland (Sat. April 27).