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Thornton's late jumper sends Kings past Blazers

Apr 16, 2012 - 3:24 AM Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) - Marcus Thornton's jumper with 3.4 seconds left lifted the Sacramento Kings over the Portland Trail Blazers, 104-103, at Power Balance Pavilion.

"That's what everyone dreams about, hitting the game-winning shot," Thornton said.

Thornton had 20 points, while Tyreke Evans also dropped in 20 and DeMarcus Cousins finished with 23 points and seven rebounds for the Kings, who snapped a seven-game slide.

Wesley Matthews connected on eight three-pointers, including the go-ahead three before Thornton's game-winning shot, and scored 31 points to pace Portland, which lost for the fourth time in five tries.

Sacramento did not lead at any point until Cousins broke a 93-93 tie with a short hook shot with about 3 1/2 minutes left in the game.

But Portland would answer at the other end and with the score knotted at 100 and time winding down, Cousins received an inbounds pass and dropped in a layup from under the basket with 10.7 second left.

Matthews then connected on a step-back three-pointer from the left corner with 5.8 seconds remaining to give the Trail Blazers a one-point lead, but Thornton came off a screen before grabbing a pass near the free-throw line and pulling up for the game-winning shot with 3.4 showing on the clock.

"Thornton made a good read," Matthews said. "[Cousins] gave a pretty good [screen]."

Raymond Felton's half-court shot banked hard off the backboard to seal the win for Sacramento.

Portland took control early, opening the game with an 11-3 run that was capped by a Matthews three-pointer.

The Kings later used five straight points by Isaiah Thomas to close the gap to three, 19-16, with about four minutes left in the first quarter, but the Trail Blazers answered with a 9-2 push to extend their lead back to eight and they led, 28-22, at the end of the first.

Sacramento then opened the second with an 8-2 spurt to knot the game at 30 before Nolan Smith snapped the swing with a jumper to put Portland on top and spark a 14-5 run by the Trail Blazers to stretch their lead to double digits, 46-35, and they carried a 54-46 advantage into the break.

After Matthews put the exclamation point on a 13-4 swing by Portland with a shot from beyond the arc to hand the Trail Blazers another double-digit advantage, 73-63, the Kings ripped off a 13-3 run to tie the game at 76 with less than two minutes to play in the third quarter.

However, they would not be able to break through for their first lead of the contest and Matthews put an end to the spurt with another trey and Portland held an 89-79 edge at the end of the third.

Game Notes

Sacramento improved to 15-15 at home this season, while Portland fell to 8-21 on the road...The Trail Blazers went 16-for-32 from three-point range...Sacramento shot 8-for-19 from beyond the arc, but held a 58-30 advantage in points in the paint.