With Dennis Schroder back in the starting lineup, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to snap their four-game losing streak by defeating the Portland Trail Blazers, 102-93.
LeBron James tried to establish himself in the post early on, but committed two turnovers and the Blazers were able to execute their offense to take an early 13-2 lead. James later made up for his mistakes with a block and fastbreak layup, but the Lakers were still down seven.
Montrezl Harrell was active in the paint as he scored on a floater and drew a shooting foul, but Los Angeles had trouble slowing Damian Lillard on the other end. Schroder was able to spark a run at the end of the quarter and the Lakers only trailed 27-24.
The Portland bench was able to create some separation with their perimeter shooting, but 3-pointers from Alex Caruso and James helped Los Angeles stay reasonably close. James’ defensive efforts allowed the Lakers to run out in transition, and a Harrell and-1 one gave them their first lead of the night.
The Trail Blazers responded with a 6-0 spurt of their own to retake control. James nailed a midrange jumper and found Harrell underneath for an easy dump off, but L.A. found themselves trailing 57-54 at the half.
It was a good defensive start to the third for the Lakers as they forced three Trail Blazer turnovers, going on a 7-0 run that was capped by a James dunk. The two teams then took turns trading baskets and subsequently the lead.
Caruso gave L.A. a lift as he nailed a corner 3 and immediately followed it up with a dunk, putting them up by six. The Lakers’ defensive effort flummoxed Lillard and the Trail Blazers and as a result they went into the fourth ahead 85-76.
Los Angeles continued to hold the momentum as they found little resistance attacking the teeth of the Portland defense. On the flip side, their doubling on Lillard stalled out the Portland offense.
The Lakers did a good job of playing disciplined basketball for the remainder of the night and they would walk away with a much-needed win.
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