It looked like it was going to be one of those nights for the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday when they saw an early 14-point lead erased by the Portland Trail Blazers and found themselves trailing by 25 points at halftime.
The Lakers looked completely listless in the second quarter and there weren’t any signs that they could dig themselves out of that hole. However, the team came together to mount an improbable comeback to win in one of their most impressive games of the 2022-23 season.
Statistically, L.A. achieved one of the most impossible feats in league history as they became the first team in the shot clock era to lose a quarter by 32 points and still win the game. The Lakers were outscored in the second quarter 45-13, normally a sign of an incoming loss.
Like he has almost the entire season, LeBron James led the Lakers in scoring with 37 points on an efficient 14-of-24 shooting. James was relentless in attacking the basket, especially in the fourth quarter when he hunted Damian Lillard on switches. The strategy resulted in several baskets and fouls, helping L.A. earn the win.
While James paced the Lakers in scoring, Thomas Bryant was the hero of the night as he tied his career-high in points with 31, to go along with 14 rebounds. Bryant, like James, was terrific near the rim and used his size and length to finish over the Portland defense.
Bryant’s best plays came late in the game when he threw down two powerful dunks to give Los Angeles some breathing room.
Dennis Schroder was the third star of the night for the purple and gold as the speedy guard was able to get to his spots and knock down crucial jumpers to aid the comeback. Like James and Bryant, Schroder came up clutch in the final period as he nailed a couple of timely 3s to keep them within striking distance.
Schroder would finish the night with 24 points and was perfect from the free-throw line, knocking down all 10 of his attempts.
For the Trail Blazers, Lillard was held mostly in check as he finished with 24 points but only shot 5-of-17 from the field.
What’s next for Lakers
The Lakers return home for a back-to-back set against the L.A. Clippers on Tuesday and the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. They then get a couple of days off before embarking on a five-game road trip that starts on Saturday against the league-leading Boston Celtics.
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