Even Michael Malone, a coach who prides himself on defense, had to chuckle at the statement.

His Kings had just given up 119 points, including a season-high 46 in the fourth quarter.

Portland point guard Damian Lillard torched the Kings for 26 of his career-high 41 points in the fourth quarter.

But Malone was proud of how the Kings played defense in a 123-119 win over the Trail Blazers on Tuesday night at Sleep Train Arena.

“Yes, they scored 119, but I felt we defended at a fairly high level,” Malone said. “It’s kind of funny saying that.”

The Kings scored 43 fourth-quarter points, their season high for a quarter, to fend off the Trail Blazers, who trailed 102-83 with 7:54 to play.

Sacramento (11-22) took control by holding Portland to 13 points in the third quarter, pleasing Malone.

“I’m going concentrate on the 13 points we gave up in the third quarter,” Malone said. “I’m going to focus on the 43 percent (shooting) that we held that team to.”

It took DeMarcus Cousins matching his season high with 35 points and Rudy Gay scoring a season-high 32 points before fouling out for the Kings to overcome Lillard, who made 7 of 11 shots in the fourth quarter, including 5 of 8 3-pointers.

“I don’t ever want to be in that situation with the ball in Damian Lillard’s hand,” Cousins said. “I’m glad we got the win, but that was a scary game.”

The Kings (11-22) also needed a season high in points to prevail.

Isaiah Thomas added 22 points, eight assists and matched his season high with seven rebounds for the Kings, who scored a season high.

The Kings had a players-only meeting Sunday, and Malone said before tipoff he would assess the meeting’s success after the game.