Even though this season hasn’t gotten off to the start they had hoped for, the Los Angeles Lakers at least closed out 2021 on a high note with a dominant 139-106 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at Crypto.com Arena to improve to 18-19 on the campaign.
Just one days after turning 37, LeBron James showed that his body is still feeling as young as ever as he was knocking down shots from the jump and ended up putting up his best performance of the season.
In just 29 minutes, James finished with a season-high 43 points on 16-of-26 shooting (5-of-10 from three) to go along with 14 rebounds and four assists. He also had zero turnovers on the night in a game where he was in complete control.
James’ co-star, Russell Westbrook, also had a very strong performance with another triple-double – 15 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists – in 30 minutes while finishing a game-high +29 in the plus/minus department.
The Lakers had a total of seven players in double figures as Malik Monk finished with 18 while Carmelo Anthony had 16 and Stanley Johnson, Talen Horton-Tucker and Austin Reaves all had 10 apiece.
Overall as a team, the Lakers shot 55.3% from the field (47-of-85) and 46.3% from 3-point range (19-of-41) in what was their best offensive performance of the season against the short-handed Trail Blazers.
Also impressive was that L.A. only had seven turnovers, which has been a big issue for the team throughout the course of the season.
On the Portland side of things, former Lakers guard Ben McLemore led the way as he came out firing early with 16 first-quarter points off the bench. He finished with 28 points in 30 minutes while Damian Lillard had 18 points, four rebounds and seven assists in what was an off shooting night for the star point guard.
Up next for the Lakers…
Even though the Lakers finished out 2021 in style, things don’t get easier for them when they open up the next year. They host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night looking for revenge after already getting blown out by them twice this season before taking on the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, Jan. 4.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!