The Los Angeles Lakers came out like a team on a mission to get back on the right track in their first game back home in weeks. Of course with this team, nothing can be easy, but when push came to shove, Anthony Davis would not allow them to lose.
Davis finished with 30 points, 15 rebounds, and three blocks and Carmelo Anthony added 24 points off the bench as the Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 99-94 on Thursday night. The victory put an end to the team’s three-game losing streak and their record now sits at 25-27.
Things looked great for the Lakers early on as they quickly built a double-digit lead and led by 12 at the end of the first quarter. But as has been the case all season long, the Lakers were unable to hold on to their lead as Portland scored 37 points in the second to cut the Lakers lead to one at the half.
The Lakers would go into the fourth trailing by three, but Davis took over and refused to suffer another loss. The Lakers’ big man was active on the glass and had his midrange game working as well. Davis hit 10-of-18 shots from the floor and his 14 free throw attempts were proof of his aggression, especially late.
Anthony hit five 3-pointers against his former team, but the Lakers’ offense struggled mightily aside from those two. The rest of the Lakers shot a combined 31% from the field with only Avery Bradley (11 points, four steals) and Dwight Howard (10 points, seven rebounds) also reaching double-figures. More concerning was the Lakers’ 16 turnovers, which led to 24 Blazer points.
Russell Westbrook finished with nine points, 10 rebounds, and 13 assists and like most of the Lakers struggled with his shot, hitting just 3-of-12 from the field. He did do a good job controlling the game for much of the night, however, with his playmaking, regularly setting up teammates for easy buckets and open shots.
One thing the Lakers were able to do was limit the Blazers’ explosive backcourt. CJ McCollum scored just 15 points on 5-of-17 from the field while Anfernee Simons, who has been outstanding in place of the injured Damian Lillard, hit just 7-of-18 from the field on his way to 19 points.
Next up for the Lakers
The Lakers have no time to enjoy their victory as they take on the Los Angeles Clippers on the second night of a back-to-back. They will then host the New York Knicks in a Saturday night primetime contest on ABC.
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