Recap: Lakers Hold Onto Fourth Quarter Lead In Bounce-Back Win Over Trail Blazers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After a tough loss to the Indiana Pacers at the buzzer, the Los Angeles Lakers took the court on Wednesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers looking to get back on track.

The Trail Blazers were severely shorthanded playing without Damian Lillard, Josh Hart and others, and as a result, the Lakers were able to come away with a 128-109 victory to improve to 8-12.

Guarding the perimeter was a struggle for the Lakers early, which could be expected without two starters in Lonnie Walker IV and Troy Brown Jr., who both sat out with left foot soreness. The Trail Blazers jumped out to a 12-4 lead, forcing Darvin Ham to call an early timeout.

Out of the timeout, Austin Reaves got going a bit by taking the ball to the basket and getting fouled. After a steal and thunderous dunk by Reaves to give him eight first-quarter points, the Lakers fought back to tie it at 17.

L.A.’s bench continued to bring the energy that Reaves started, locking in defensively to give the Lakers a 24-22 lead after one quarter.

After a quiet first quarter, LeBron James got going in the second with seven straight points to build the Lakers’ lead to eight. Jerami Grant got going in a similar way, however, keeping his team within striking distance.

James and Grant each had 17 points in the first half to lead their teams, but after Russell Westbrook beat the second-quarter buzzer with a 3, the Lakers went into the locker room leading 66-62.

Unlike to begin the game, the Lakers’ starting up came out with some energy in the third quarter. Austin Reaves hit a 3 and finished a sweet reverse layup and then Patrick Beverley hit a 3 of his own to give L.A. its first double-digit lead.

Despite some nice contested jumpers by Anfernee Simons, the Lakers continued to build their lead to end the third quarter. After Westbrook drained another buzzer-beater, this time almost from halfcourt, the Lakers led 97-93 through 3.

It seems that the Lakers learned from their Pacers loss as they came out in the fourth quarter like a team that didn’t want to blow a lead. Reaves and Anthony Davis both hit corner 3s, extending the lead to a game-high 18.

The Trail Blazers got within 13 late but Davis finished back-to-back putbacks, effectively putting the game out of reach.

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