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News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

December 8, 2012
Kings at Trail Blazers: Five things to watch

PORTLAND - For the Kings to win three games in a row for the first time this season, a lot has to go right.

Well, at least five things do:

1. Road toughness: The Kings are 0-6 on the road and their last two losses have been especially bad. One saw the Kings blow a fourth-quarter lead in Utah with a series of mental mistakes. Last Saturday the Kings lost by 35 in Los Angeles to the Clippers. The common thread in both losses was the Kings inability to stay focused the entire game.
2. Robinson repeat: Rookie power forward Thomas Robinson continues to show he can impact games simply with his effort. He did so Friday night and must do so again.
3. Guard battle: The Kings will be undersized in the backcourt, especially if Tyreke Evans (sore left knee) is out. The Kings have to play up-tempo basketball and avoid being put in position to deal with the size of Portland's guards.
4. Defensive awareness: All eyes must be aware of what Portland guard Damian Lillard is up to on the floor. He torched the Kings last month.
5. Rough him up: Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge can't be allowed to feel comfortable. Jason Thompson, Chuck Hayes and Robinson all have to do their part to fluster Aldridge as best they can tonight.



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