Casspi happy with his performances in NBA preseason openers

Casspi happy with his pe

Omri Casspi continued his positive start to the NBA preseason on Wednesday, playing 17 minutes and scoring seven points in the Sacramento Kings' 89-86 home loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. The 21-year-old, who is set to become the first Israeli to play in the NBA later this month, was excited about finally playing in front of the Sacramento fans at the ARCO Arena. "It was great to meet the fans and good they got to know us," Casspi said. "We are a new, talented and strong team. I am happy that everyone got to see us tonight." Casspi, who hit three of his four shots on Wednesday, a day after scoring all four of his attempts in the Kings' preseason opener, is happy with his early contributions. "I have done that in my career before. I had done that overseas. I like to come off the bench. I don't mind if I start or if I enter the game from the bench," he said on his run in the third quarter. "I'll do anything I can to help my team. I felt like we needed that boost of energy and I adapted to the ball and I am happy that the crowd liked it. I am happy that the team played really hard. That is a good sign and good basketball." Greg Oden had 20 points and 12 rebounds in his second consecutive strong performance for Portland, which also defeated Sacramento in the preseason opener on Tuesday. Juwan Howard scored 14 points for the Blazers (2-0), Brandon Roy had 13, Jerryd Bayless 11 and Andre Miller added 10. Kevin Martin made five 3-pointers and scored 28 points for the Kings (0-2). Rookie Tyreke Evans scored 14 points. A pull-up jumper by Beno Udrih followed by a fast-break dunk from Casspi pulled the Kings within 89-86 with 1:06 left. With a chance to send the game into overtime, Sergio Rodriguez missed a 3-pointer with a second remaining. AP contributed to this report.