Anfernee Simons scores 31, Portland beats Sacramento 103-88

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Anfernee Simons led all scorers with 31 points and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the Sacramento Kings their fourth straight loss, 103-88 on Sunday night.

Jusuf Nurkic had 14 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists, and the Blazers snapped a two-game losing streak.

Tyrese Haliburton scored 17 points for the Kings, who have lost seven straight on the road. Alex Len added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Simons’ 3-pointer put the Blazers up 90-70, their biggest lead of the game, with just over seven minutes left. The Kings responded with a 10-2 run before Simons hit another 3 that made it 95-80 with 4:36 to go.

The Blazers have been hit by both injuries and absences due to the league’s COVID-19 protocols. Damian Lillard remained out because of lower abdominal tendinopathy and won’t travel on Portland’s upcoming six-game road trip. Backcourt teammate CJ McCollum has missed 14 games after a collapsed right lung.

Norman Powell went into health and safety protocols earlier Sunday. Ben McLemore started for the first time this season and finished with 13 points.

The Kings were also short-handed. De’Aaron Fox was a game-time decision because of a sore right shoulder and started. Maurice Harkless didn’t play because of a sore right ankle.

Richaun Holmes and Damian Jones were out because of the health and safety protocols, but Chimezie Metu was cleared and played 13 minutes off the bench.

The Blazers led most of the first half, with Anfernee Simons’ floater putting them up 40-29. Portland led 53-40 at the break.

Nurkic hit a 3-pointer that gave Portland a 71-57 lead in the third quarter.


Kings: It was the final meeting between the teams this season. Sacramento won the first two.

Blazers: Coach Chauncey Billups said before the game that Lillard is consulting with specialists this week regarding his injury to determine how to proceed. … Billups also said McCollum is close to a return, but he and his wife are expecting the birth of their first child soon.


Kings: Host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, the first of a five-game homestand.

Trail Blazers: Host the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night in a game that was originally scheduled for Dec. 23, but postponed.


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