Coming off an embarrassing loss to the Brooklyn Nets at home, the Los Angeles Lakers knew they needed a win against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night.
The Lakers have been facing immense pressure to win games given their preseason expectations, and fortunately they were presented with the perfect bounce back opportunity as the Trail Blazers are one of the worst teams in the league. Los Angeles has let their guard down before and lost games, but they took care of business in their blowout victory over Portland.
In the wire-to-wire win, the Lakers had no problem scoring the basketball and D’Angelo Russell led the way for the team. Russell has been the hottest player on the roster when it comes to shooting the ball and that continued as he torched Portland from just about every spot on the floor.
Russell’s 3-point shooting helped Los Angeles maintain their lead and he showed off in the second half with several shots from long distance that put the game out of reach. He also had several highlight plays, including a bounce pass lob to LeBron James and later a fake pass in transition for a smooth layup.
Russell led all scorers with 34 points on an efficient 14-of-21 shooting that included 6-of-11 from beyond the arc. He also recorded the most assists on the team with eight.
James didn’t have the most inspiring effort in the loss to the Nets, but he made up for it with a vintage performance against the Trail Blazers as he terrorized their young roster with several drives to the paint. There were a few occasions where James got fouled as he was finishing a layup, allowing him to rack up points.
James was the game’s second-leading scorer with 28 points while adding five rebounds and five assists.
With Russell and James dominating the scoring, Anthony Davis wasn’t needed much but he still recorded a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds in just 26 minutes of action.
Cam Reddish led the bench with 10 points in his return to action, while Rui Hachimura drew the start in place of Taurean Prince and scored nine points.
What’s next for Lakers
The Lakers technically have a road game, but it will be against the L.A. Clippers on Tuesday. Los Angeles will remain at Crypto.com Arena for their Thursday game against the Chicago Bulls before they head back on the road to take on the struggling Golden State Warriors on Saturday.
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