After shooting the Lights outside on the opening night of the season, RJ Barrett stumbled across a few rough patches, the second of which came from the middle of a losing streak.
But despite the Knights due to a three-game winning streak played Friday night against the Kings in Sacramento, California, Barrett rediscovered his touch and was making a major impact in the process.
After Barrett made a career-high 28 points on 10-for-17 shooting to win over the Warriors on Thursday, Barrett said that we are trying hard and grinding every day. “This is really what we are trying to do. We are really focused. We are fully giving it and we will continue this throughout the season.
In a 103–94 loss to the Kings on Friday, Barrett had 21 points on 8-for-17 shooting – including 2-for-2. In his last five matches entering Friday, Barrett had scored 21.8 points – 51.4 percent on shooting and 38.9 percent from deep – to go with 6.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists. In the 10 matches preceding that stretch, he was shooting just 33.1 percent from the floor and 12.8 percent from beyond the arc – a number that was boosted by two games in the middle in which the lefties briefly warmed up and in 34 from the floor. 18 was shot and three 5-for-10.
Coach Tom Thibodo said, “I think RJ has played really well, I will play like the last five or six matches.” He said, “He started the season where he had a big night. I think teams came in after him to be quite good. But he is adjusting and even during the stretch where he is particularly good Not shooting kind of, he was making great rebound and he was playing.
Frank Ntilikina missed his 13th consecutive game as a sprain hurt his right knee on 29 December. Austin River was also out for a second straight night with a perfect beard. … Sunday games in Portland have been closed from 9 PM Eastern Time to 10 PM
– Additional reporting by Peter Boutte