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Trail Blazers 100, Kings 99

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Forward Dorell Wright’s 3-point shot with 7.6 seconds remaining gave the Portland Trail Blazers a 100-99 victory over Sacramento Kings Wednesday night at the Moda Center.

Sacramento guard Ray McCallum’s 20-foot shot bounced off the front rim as time expired, sending the Kings to their fourth straight defeat.

Forward LaMarcus Aldridge led five players scoring in double figures with 22 points for the Trail Blazers (51-28), who won their second straight. Guard Damian Lillard had 19 points and 10 assists, and Wesley Matthews scored 19 points for the winners.

Center DeMarcus Cousins scored 30 points with 12 rebounds while McCallum tallied 23 points and eight assists for the Kings (27-52).

Aldridge scored 12 points, center Robin Lopez 11 and Matthews 10 to stake the Blazers to a 10-point halftime lead. Guard Ben McLemore had 14 points at the break for the Kings.

The Kings, using Cousins’ offense and strong defense by forward Jason Thompson, snipped the margin to 68-65 midway through the third quarter. Portland extended it to 79-67 with an 11-2 tear and took a 79-71 lead into the final period.

Sacramento scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to draw within 79-77. McCallum’s left-handed drive cut the margin to 82-81, then buried a 3-pointer to tie the game at 84-84 with 8:10 to play. Lillard’s 3-point shot pushed Portland’s lead to 91-86 with 5:30 remaining.

McCallum sank another 3, but Aldridge’s hook shot gave the Blazers a 93-89 advantage.

Forward Travis Outlaw’s free throw cut the margin to 93-90, and forward Derrick Williams converted one of two at the line with 3:40 to play, making it 93-91. Cousins’ reverse layup tied the score at 93-93 with 3:10 left.

Aldridge’s two-handed follow jam gave Portland a 95-93 lead, but Outlaw answered with a jumper to make it 95-95 with two minutes remaining. Cousins’ 18-footer gave Sacramento a 97-95 advantage with 1:24 to go.

Lopez made a pair at the line to tie the count again at 97-97 with 42.3 seconds to play. Cousins then missed a driving hook shot and the Blazers rebounded. After a turnover, Cousins was fouled on a breakaway with 14.8 seconds left. He made both attempts at the line to make it 99-97.

Following a timeout, the Blazers worked the ball to Wright, who drilled a 3-pointer from the corner with 7.6 seconds on the clock for a 100-99 lead.

Portland knocked down five of its first six shots to take a 12-4 lead and were on top 27-20 after one quarter, knocking down 11 of 16 shots (.688). The Kings rallied, though, tying the count at 29-29 early in the second quarter.

The Blazers responded with a 23-8 run to go in front 52-37, settling for a 56-46 advantage at the half.

Notes: Sacramento was without G Isaiah Thomas, who missed his ninth straight game with a deep thigh contusion, and small forward Rudy Gay, who missed his second straight game with a sore back. Reserve F Reggie Evans, idled with back issues in Tuesday’s107-92 loss to Oklahoma City, returned to action. … Coach Mike Malone said Thomas could still return before the end of the regular season. “He’s working very hard to get back,” Malone said. “If he’s able to play, I’d love to have him out there for more games. He’s had a tremendous season for us. I owe that to him, if he’s healthy enough to perform.” … Kings C DeMarcus Cousins has scored 35, 33, 35 and 30 points in the four meetings with the Blazers this season. … With six wins in their last seven games and three games remaining, the Blazers have a chance to go into the postseason on a roll. “I’d like to see us maintain our edge as we head into the playoffs,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “It’s important we maintain a certain level of performance.”

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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