Led by a resurgent effort from Anthony Davis and improved shooting all around, the Los Angeles Lakers thrashed the Portland Trail Blazers, 111-88 in Game 2 to tie their first-round series.
The Laker frontcourt got off to a solid start as they scored the first eight points of the game, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope followed it up with a pair of threes. Defensively, L.A. did a good job of cleaning the glass and limiting the Blazers to one shot.
With LeBron James off the floor, Davis looked to get going by running the floor to help offset the fact that he did not manage to get much going from the perimeter. Davis made up for it with a couple of more scores in the paint to lead Los Angeles to a 27-19 lead.
The Lakers started the second quarter dominating the paint, with James and Kyle Kuzma driving hard to the rim for lay-ins. While Gary Trent Jr. knocked down a couple of threes to keep the Blazers close, the purple and gold did a good job of collecting offensive rebounds for extra possessions.
Los Angeles was able to extend their lead after earning a few stops, going up by as much as 11 after a Kuzma three over Jusuf Nurkic. Davis had a strong finish to the half, hitting his first three of the series and earning an and-1 to give the Lakers a 56-39 advantage.
The Lakers continued their excellent play from the first half, defending with energy and attacking the glass en route to a 22-point lead. Portland responded with a mini run, but Los Angeles still maintained the momentum.
Davis finally found his stroke from outside, knocking down jumpers while corralling Portland’s guards on the other end. Los Angeles did not let up on either end and went into the final quarter up 88-58.
It was a ragged start to the fourth as both teams did not execute well offensively, but JR Smith provided a nice offensive spark after hitting a shot in the lane and a corner three. It did not take long for the Lakers and Blazers to empty the benches with the former up over 30, allowing James and Davis to sit for the rest of the game.
Damian Lillard suffered a dislocated left index finger late in the third quarter. X-rays were negative but he did not return to the game. Lillard had a bit of a rough shooting night before exiting, finishing with 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting. He made only one of seven 3-pointers.
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