With five defeats in their last seven games, the Lakers traveled to Portland to face the Blazers in full general upheaval, and on six losses in a row… If LeBron James was still faithful to his status with a performance at 30 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists and Anthony Davis (17 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 blocks) was in the oven and the mill, Los Angeles still bit the dust (107-105).
The fault of an Anfernee Simons (29 points, 5 assists) of the great evenings. The young back of the Blazers took the match on his own in the “mega money time” with the last 8 points of the match to his credit!
Alongside him, Jusuf Nurkic (19 points, 12 rebounds) and one of the newest recruits, Justise Winslow (11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals), were also solid in keeping Portland in the wheel of the Lakers. Before Simons’ final outburst, in his best imitation of “Dame Time”…
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– No Westbrook, still problems… Hampered by back pain, Russell Westbrook missed his very first game of the season with the Lakers. Already in sharp decline in the last two games, the leader was able to see that his team’s problems were much more serious than expected, with in particular 21 balls lost by the Lakers (including 6 for James and 5 for Monk, called to organize the game, but to no avail).
– Anthony Davis missing in last quarter ! With 14 points of his 30 points scored in the last quarter, LeBron James probably thought he had done what was necessary to boost his Lakers. Which is far from being the case for his friend Anthony Davis, completely absent from the debates in the final sprint. Without the slightest shot attempted in 9 minutes of action in the fourth quarter, Anthony Davis certainly delivered 3 assists but his impact was almost nil. Above all, he was unworthy of a player who was ranked among the 75 best players in League history…
– The heart of the Blazers. Despite an upside-down squad, with better-known minor league players like Keljin Blevins, CJ Elleby and Trendon Watford, the Blazers managed to hang on for three quarters, thanks in large part to a very good Nurkic in seasoned veteran. But we can also highlight the good performance of a Dennis Smith Jr. who came off the bench to score 7 points, 11 assists and 6 interceptions, or the rookie Greg Brown who chained a 3rd game in a row to 10 points or more , even said Elleby who played 43 minutes… And Anfernee Simons then managed to close the deal with his offensive genius!
✅ Anfernee Simons. He’s the new boss of the Blazers (pending the return of Damian Lillard, if he stays…)! Going from 8 points and 1 assist on average last season, to 16 points and 4 assists this year (including 23 points and 6 assists on his tenure), Anfernee Simons is clearly the great story of the season in Portland. Wednesday evening, he again confirmed his new dimension with 29 points, including the last 8 of the match to subdue the King James Lakers.
✅ LeBron James. The Lakers boss may have scored 14 points in the last quarter, including a last 3-pointer at the buzzer, he left with his head bowed to the locker room. It must be said that he was not rewarded for his efforts, after an evening with 30 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds, but a new defeat (and this one particularly humiliating) in the bag.
✅ Dennis Smith Jr. Jusuf Nurkic would have earned his place here with a nice double-double and his much-needed presence in the paint last night, but the former star point guard for the Mavs had a very complete game yesterday with 7 points, 11 assists and 6 interceptions.
✅ ⛔ Anthony Davis. Author of three good quarters, Anthony Davis disappeared from radar in the last quarter with no shots and no free throws taken. Despite his slaughter at 17 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 blocks, his “absence” at the end of the game weighed heavily for the Lakers in full crisis.
⛔ Trevor Ariza. The 36-year-old former defensive specialist, already crowned with the Lakers at the start of his career, seemed like an interesting choice a priori to surround LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles. But, the more the season advances, the more Trevor Ariza shows that he has nothing more to contribute. Holder (by default) last night, he was transparent against one of his former teams…
Los Angeles (26-30): continuation of the road trip to Golden State in the evening from Saturday to Sunday.
Portland (22-34): the Blazers stay at home for the reception of the Knicks, on the night of Saturday to Sunday.