Portland (23-42) at Sacramento (41-27)

Fair Currently: Sacramento, CA
Temp: 96° F
  • Game info: 10:00 pm EST Tue Mar 22, 2005
  • TV: KGW, CSCA
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Sacramento coach Rick Adelman is on the verge of joining a prestigious club. However, he is much more concerned with the Kings’ persistent mediocre play.

The Kings look to show some improvement and help Adelman post his 700th career victory when they host the hapless Portland Trail Blazers.

Adelman, 699-438 15 NBA seasons, is on the verge of becoming the 15th coach to reach the milestone. He is 342-186 in seven seasons with Sacramento to become the franchise’s all-time winningest coach while guiding the Kings to six straight postseason appearances.

However, Adelman is frustrated with his team’s lackluster play of late. Sacramento is in fifth place in the Western Conference, trailing fourth-place Dallas by four games, and one game ahead of sixth-place Houston.

The Kings have lost six of their last 11 games after a 104-94 defeat to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. Mike Bibby scored 24 points and had eight assists for Sacramento, which has lost two of its last three games at Arco Arena.

“I am just really disappointed with our effort,” Adelman said. “I told these guys we’ve got 14 games to go and we can’t afford to just come out and cruise. Our team cannot assume that they are going to be in the playoffs. If we don’t play at a higher level with more energy, we are going to struggle.”

It doesn’t help that the Kings continue to battle injuries. Already without 7-foot center Brad Miller, who is out for at least a month with a broken leg, they lost his replacement, Brian Skinner, in the third quarter with sprained thumbs.

A hairline fracture in his left toe kept guard Cuttino Mobley from suiting up and the Corliss Williamson is out with an elbow injury. The three players are day to day.

Darius Songaila had 15 points and nine rebounds and Maurice Evans added 15 points and eight boards, as both are seeing extensive playing time for the short-handed Kings.

“We have got to find out how to win whether guys are out or not,” Adelman said. “I am talking about the main guys from last year, they have got to come ready to play and they have to lead this team.”

The Blazers are coming off their fifth straight loss and 11th in their last 12, a 96-89 defeat at the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday to assure them of their first losing season since going 39-43 in 1988-89.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim scored 23 points and 14 rebounds and Darius Miles added 20 for Portland, which has lost 20 of its last 21 road games against Western Conference opponents.

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