After a tough loss to the Brooklyn Nets, the Los Angeles Lakers returned to the court on Sunday night and hosted the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Lakers came in badly needing a win over an inferior opponent to get back to .500 on the season, and they got exactly that, cruising to a 134-110 victory at Crypto.com Arena.
Taurean Prince missed the game with a knee injury so Rui Hachimura got the start in his place and drilled a corner 3-pointer to begin the game. The Lakers got off to a nice start, taking an early lead after a three-point play by LeBron James, back-to-back buckets by D’Angelo Russell and then a triple by James to make it 17-6.
Trail Blazers veterans Malcolm Brogdon and Jerami Grant helped get their team right back in it, however, tying the game at 24. The Lakers’ second unit did a nice job of closing the quarter though to take a 36-31 lead into the second.
The Lakers continued to take control to begin the second as Russell had five quick points and Jarred Vanderbilt had a steal and a dunk to get the lead back to double digits.
After missing the last three games with a knee issue, Cam Reddish also looked good early against his former team with six points in the first half of the second quarter.
James then got the crowd on their feet with a steal and a thunderous dunk on a bounce pass alley-oop from Russell to extend the lead to 67-54 at the half.
Austin Reaves has been in a bit of a slump for the Lakers but started to heat up in the third with a 3-pointer and a pair of layup.
The Lakers continued to pour it on from there as Russell drained another 3 and then James completed a three-point play to get the lead to 20.
It was Russell’s night as he simply couldn’t miss, scoring in a variety of ways to give him 26 points at the end of the third quarter with the Lakers leading 103-87 after Brogdon beat the buzzer with a three-point play.
James again got the crowd going with a big dunk and then a triple to begin the fourth. Russell then put the game away with back-to-back triples, putting the cherry on top of his big night with 34 total points.
With the Lakers’ lead hovering around 20, they were able to get the win easily while resting key guys for the final few minutes.
Up next for the Lakers
The Lakers technically head out on the road on Tuesday night although they don’t have to go anywhere as they take on the L.A. Clippers at Crypto.com Arena. The Lakers will be looking to improve to 3-0 against their in-city rivals this season.
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