The Los Angeles Lakers finally returned home from their four-game road trip and hosted the young and shorthanded Portland Trail Blazers.
The Trail Blazers lost Robert Williams III for the season after he underwent knee surgery, while Scoot Henderson remained sidelined with a right ankle sprain. Despite that, Portland gave Los Angeles a run for their money as they took a lead in the first half.
Fortunately for the Lakers, Cam Reddish, who made his second start with LeBron James out, kept the team afloat in the first two quarters with his scoring and defense. Reddish was effective getting all the way to the basket for layups and floaters, displaying some shifty ball handling and speed downhill.
Reddish has been solid since being inserted into the starting lineup and finished with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting, but he filled up the rest of the box score with seven rebounds, two assists, three steals and one block in 38 minutes.
While Reddish picked up the slack in the first half, Austin Reaves took over in the second half as he looked much more confident handling the basketball. The move to the bench was a surprising move, but it seems to be paying off as Reaves has more opportunities to control the offense and operate freely.
Reaves ended up closing out the game for Los Angeles and he had a solid stat line of 18 points, four rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes of action.
It was a quiet first half for Anthony Davis, who seemed to floating on the floor, allowing his teammates to get their own shots. However, the second half was a different story for the star big man as the team made a concerted effort to get him the ball and let him go to work in the paint.
Davis wound up leading all scorers with 30 points and also pulled down 13 rebounds, dished out six assists and blocked three shots in the win. Davis’ performance was much-needed with James out, and at this point an expectation.
Not to get lost in the shuffle, Rui Hachimura and D’Angelo Russell had strong performances as well. Hachimura was the Lakers’ second-leading scorer with 19 points, while Russell recorded his own double-double of 11 points and 11 assists.
What’s next for Lakers
L.A. will play its second game of group play for the In-Season Tournament on Tuesday against the Memphis Grizzlies before hosting the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday in the second game of a back-to-back.
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