On the second night of their first back-to-back set this season, the Los Angeles Lakers had a modest two-game winning streak snapped in a 115-107 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. Anthony Davis and LeBron James played, but Alex Caruso was out due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Showing no ill effects from his sprained left ankle, James drained two deep jumpers as well as came up with a steal and slam to put the Lakers up 14-5 early. Meanwhile, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope came out scorching, knocking down three consecutive triples form the corners.
The Lakers offense sputtered when James went to the bench, allowing the Blazers to go on an 11-0 run that cut the lead to just two. However, Los Angeles’ bench was able to respond with a spurt of their own and put the team up 30-22 after the first.
The offensive struggles for the Lakers persisted as they were unable to get much going, allowing the Blazers to go on a 12-0 run that gave them their first lead of the night. L.A. did not have much of an answer for Gary Trent Jr. or CJ McCollum, but Talen Horton-Tucker injected some life into the team with a couple of strong finishes at the rim.
The Lakers finally saw some success in the halfcourt thanks to Dennis Schroder, who was aggressive looking for his own opportunities. Despite that, Portland had a strong close to the quarter and Los Angeles found themselves down 58-54 at the half.
In his return after sitting out Sunday night, Davis had a quiet first half as he made just one of four field goal attempts. Davis eventually made somewhat of an impact on offense, but the Lakers’ defense couldn’t contain the Blazers.
Los Angeles was able to recapture the lead after a 15-0 run sparked by Schroder who was able to get into the painted area and charity stripe. However, turnovers were once again a problem and they allowed Portland to stay within striking distance.
Davis finally started to get going, scoring on consecutive trips to push the lead back to five. Damian Lillard finally started to heat up, but L.A. went into the fourth with a slim 85-84 lead.
Much like the first half, Trent caught fire from the perimeter and scored 11 quick points to give the Blazers the lead. However, James and the Lakers answered with an 8-0 run to keep the game close.
Portland again responded, with Lillard and McCollum each delivering key baskets that prevented the Lakers from erasing their deficit.
Dating back to last season, L.A. had been 59-0 when leading after three quarters.
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