The Los Angeles Lakers overcame a ragged start to take a lead that grew to as many as 14 points but they were unable to hold off Damian Lillard in a 108-103 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. With that, the Lakers’ season-best five-game winning streak came to an end, and their stretch of nine consecutive home wins.
Lillard spearheaded a comeback in the fourth quarter behind a 3-point barrage. He was at the center of an 11-0 run that tied the game, then made another as the shot clock expired to give Portland a lead.
CJ McCollum’s two missed free throws gave the Lakers an opportunity to tie the game with a 3-pointer, and then Portland further inflicted damage by fouling before the ball was inbounded.
But Isaiah Thomas missed the free throw and was stripped once the Lakers proceeded with their possession, which was broken from the outset.
The Lakers made the first two baskets of the game but then went cold as the Trail Blazers ripped off 11-2 and 10-0 runs. Despite that, and missing their first five attempts from deep, L.A. managed to cut their deficit to just three points by the end of the first quarter.
Portland went on another spurt, extending their lead to 14 points early into the second. But the Lakers yet again steadily chipped away. Julius Randle scored the first five points of the third quarter to give the Lakers their first lead, which ultimately swelled to 12 points.
Randle once again was the driving force, scoring a team-high 21 points to go along with nine rebounds. Prior to Lillard and the Blazers mounting their comeback, a pair of Thomas free throws gave the Lakers an 11-point lead, only for it to seemingly evaporate in the blink of an eye.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope helped not only in the scoring department, by contributing 16 points, but he also grabbed nine rebounds. Heading into the matchup, Lakers head coach Luke Walton said rebounding was an area of concern without Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram.
Ultimately it was all for naught, as Lillard’s game-high 39 points helped the Trail Blazers extend their winning streak to season-best seven games.