The Los Angeles Lakers headed into their matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night at the Staples Center looking to win a second straight game without Kobe Bryant in the lineup.
Although Kobe was ruled out for Sunday’s game to rest, the Lakers were able to get Wesley Johnson back in the starting lineup to play alongside Ronnie Price, Wayne Ellington, Ed Davis and Jordan Hill.
The Blazers came out with arguably one of the best starting lineups in the league with Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Blazers won the tip to get the game underway at the Staples Center. Aldridge hit a jumper to put the first two points on the board for Portland. After a missed shot from Wesley Johnson, former Laker Chris Kaman hit an easy shot in the paint giving the Blazers a four-point lead. Aldridge hit his second shot of the night at the top of the key extending the lead to six for Portland. Ronnie Price connects on a floater to finally get the Lakers on the board. Lillard nailed a three to put the Blazers up by seven, but Johnson countered with a three of his own cutting the deficit to four. Jordan Hill got involved with baby hook in the paint. Blazers’ lead was cut to two, 9-7. Kaman threw down a dunk which is countered by a Wesley Johnson jump shot. Lillard missed a transition layup. Batum was fouled after grabbing the Lillard miss and headed to the line. Batum missed both free throws. Carlos Boozer then checked in the game for Ed Davis. Boozer fouled Meyers Leonard who finished at the rim and hit the following free throw. Lillard attempted an incredible dunk, finished over Tarik Black. Boozer got to work with a jumper, but Aldridge responded with a shot of his own. Boozer then hit another jumper cutting the Blazers’ lead to six. Boozer continued to stay hot hitting another shot. Batum then hit a shot of his own keeping Portland up by six. Ryan Kelly hit a three to cut the lead to three. Young’s poor shooting continued with the sixth man misses his first three attempts. Black fouled Batum who headed to the line and hit both freebies. Black blocked Steve Blake’s layup attempt setting up the Lakers for the last shot of the quarter. Jeremy Lin hit a jumper which cut the deficit to three, 23-20.
Second-year forward Ryan Kelly got things started for the Lakers hitting the first shot of the second quarter. Blazers’ lead down to one. Leonard hit a jumpshot to extend the lead to three for Portland. Black took it inside and went to work for the easy bucket. Leonard countered with a second jumpshot. Lin gets to the basket with ease and finishes at the rim for his fourth point of the contest. Lin immediately gets to work on the next possession driving to the hole getting fouled by Leonard. Lin hit the first and missed the second. Game tied at 27. C.J. McCollum went to the line for pair of free throws. Hit one of two. Black hit another crafty bucket in the paint giving the Lakers their first lead of the night. Wesley Matthews then hit a three to put the Blazers back up by two. Boozer picked up the slack on a bad shot by Kelly to finish at the rim. Boozer got another quick bucket on the other end, but loses track of Kaman on defense. Lin headed to the line for two. Hit both. Blake connects on a three putting Portland back up by one. Lillard drove to the basket for an easy layup. Hill made a move under the basket to cut the deficit to one. Ed Davis headed to the charity stripe. Missed the first and made the second. Game tied at 38. Wayne Ellington got on the board with a pretty jumper which gave the Lakers a two-point lead. McCollum was called for traveling giving possession back to Los Angeles, but an offensive foul on Davis gave the ball back to Portland. Batum easily got by Hill for the bucket. Johnson hit three to give the Lakers a three-point lead which is quickly countered by Lillard. Hill was called for a questionable offensive foul which gave the Blazers the ball with about a minute left in the half. Matthews hit a circus shot to put the Blazers up by two. Lillard got to the basket with no problem extending Portland’s lead to four. Price cuts the deficit to two with a pair of made free throws. Blake hit a buzzer-beating three to end the half. Blazers lead, 50-45.
Laker opened the third quarter with a jumpshot from Wesley Johnson to cut the lead to three. Hill went to work against Kaman in the paint and hit a baby hook. Ellington kept it going for the Lakers hitting a three to give Los Angeles a two-point lead. Aldridge hit a pretty finger roll in the paint to tie the game at 52. Johnson continued to score with bucket in the paint from a nice pass from Price. Hill hit a jumper at the top of the key to keep it rolling. Lillard threw down a thunderous jam giving Portland a one-point lead on an alley-oop from Batum. Hill hit two free throw to reclaim the lead. Aldridge drained a three. Batum hit a jumpshot to extend the lead to four for the Blazers. Davis connects on an easy bucket in the paint. Matthews hit a three after every Blazer on the floor touched the ball. Price cut into the lead with a layup. Matthews connected on another bucket to give the Blazers a five-point lead. Boozer connected on a layup and was able to draw the foul. Missed the free throw. Young finally got a shot to fall and as a result cut the lead to two. Black threw down a dunk off a Johnson pass to tie the game at 69. Aldridge went to work in the paint to score over Black and reclaim the lead. Dorell Wright headed to the line for two. Missed the first and made the second. Three-point lead for the Blazers. Young missed the last shot of the quarter for the Lakers. Portland held the lead to end the third, 72-69.
Nick Young was able to draw the foul to start the fourth quarter and get the charity stripe. Hit the first and the second. Blazers lead cut to one. Young finishes at the bucket in transition, but Leonard hit a three to put the Blazers back up by two. Young hit another contested shot to tie the game at 75. Blake nailed a three. Young fouled Matthews on a drive to the basket. Matthews missed the first and makes the second. Four-point lead for Portland. Boozer headed to the line after getting fouled by Leonard. Made the first. Missed the second. Lillard hit a three to extend lead to six. Lillard began to heat up hitting a second consecutive basket giving the Blazers an eight-point lead. The three-year point guard didn’t stop there as he hit a floater and headed to the line to complete a three-point play. Lakers were down 11. Aldridge hit a jumper to extend the lead to 13. Lin connects on a breakaway layup. Batum connects on a three giving the Blazers a 14-point edge. Price drew the foul and hit both free throws. Johnson leaned in for a jumper in the paint. 10-point lead for Portland. Matthews extended the lead to a dozen. Hill counters with a jumper at the top of the key. Matthews drained a step-back three. Ellington fired back with a three of his own. 10-point game. Johnson nailed a three to cut the lead to single digits. Lillard sliced his way into the paint to draw the foul. Hit the first, missed the second. Eight-point lead for Portland. Ellington headed to the line for two. Hit both. Lillard brought down the house with incredible and-one jam over Jordan Hill and Ed Davis. Hit the free throw. Lillard hit another jumper. Hill counters. Lillard nailed a three to seal the deal, 106-94.
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