Beaten by a team back to back Monday, the Lakers wanted to avoid repeating such a misadventure, faced with Blazers dominated at home by the Clippers on Tuesday. Mission accomplished, because the teammates of LeBron James (31 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists) and Anthony Davis (27 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks) were able to forget their last defeat at the buzzer, winning in front of their audience (128-109).
A success both logical and quiet on the part of the “Purple & Gold”, against a group of Portland quite diminished, and which will allow them to better tackle the big program that awaits them now, far from Los Angeles : a road trip six games on the East Coast and stops by Milwaukee, Washington, Cleveland, Toronto, Philadelphia or even Detroit…
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
— This time around Los Angeles didn’t fall apart. As against the Pacers two days ago, the Lakers took advantage of the third quarter to stand out against the Blazers. Boosted in particular by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but also (and above all) Austin Reaves, they thus signed a 15-2 which put the visitors on the ropes. The difference is that unlike the match against Indiana, the California substitutes did not squander this lead of fifteen points, once the LeBron / Davis duo was at rest. When it came back into play, it was also responsible for killing all suspense in the last act.
— Austin Reaves, the spark of Los Angeles. For three quarters, the rear of the Lakers (22 points, 7/10 on shots) was undoubtedly the best player on his team, before letting LeBron James and Anthony Davis bend the case in the last twelve minutes. . First, tenured in the absence of Lonnie Walker IV, Reaves revived his team in the first quarter, when they were at -11, to take them from 17-6 to 17-17. Then, decidedly inspired in attack, he carried out some high-class actions, in the second and especially third quarters, in order to allow Los Angeles to break away. X factor.
— LeBron James and Anthony Davis sharpened before a road-trip test. What if this was the best game for the James / Davis duo since the start of this season? Not impossible, as the two teammates seemed on the same wavelength for most of the evening, on each side of the floor. Like their last quarter of fire (22 points in total), to drive the Blazers and ensure the victory of the Lakers. A good omen, as six globally delicate trips are looming for Darvin Ham’s men, against teams from the Eastern Conference…
✅ Thomas Bryant. Coming off the bench, often well served by a Russell Westbrook who distinguished himself above all by scoring two 3-point baskets at the quarter-time buzzer, the Lakers pivot (14 points, 6 rebounds) offered great things in rotation of Anthony Davis. Energetic, active on the rebound, present in the paint and even threatening behind the arc, Bryant formed a nice interior doublet, with Wenyen Gabriel.
✅ Justise Winslow and Shaedon Sharpe. If Jerami Grant (27 points) and Anfernee Simons (22 points, 8 assists) once again made stats in the absence of Damian Lillard, without however having a real influence on this part, the Winslow duo (21 points) — Sharpe (16 points) seduced and raised his level of play, while the men of Chauncey Billups had lost a lot of their bench depth. Aggressive, they supported the Grant/Simmons pair rather well, in the five and off the bench. We will especially remember (and see again) the big tap dance of rookie Sharpe, who will certainly end up well placed in the Top 10 of the day…
⛔ Jusuf Nurkic. Symbol of the difficulties encountered by the Blazers against this Lakers team inside (13 offensive rebounds granted, 64 points conceded in the paint and above all 26 points conceded in second chances), the Bosnian lived an ordeal all evening. Limited to only 8 points and 10 rebounds in 32 minutes (2/8 on shots), he never saw the light against Anthony Davis and even Thomas Bryant by sequences. Not the kind of reassuring and expected performance, to compensate for the absences of Damian Lillard or Josh Hart…
ANOTHER SHOOT FROM THE MIDFIELD FOR A FAN!
Definitely, Lakers fans are varnished at the moment and the sponsor (MGM) of this little inter-quarter-time game must be looking bad…
Indeed, for the second time in a row, a spectator allowed himself to succeed in his shot from the midfield! This time, it wasn’t to pocket $75,000, but “only” $25,000.
In two games, 100,000 dollars fell at the Crypto.com Arena, when we had not previously seen such a basket since January… 2020.
Los Angeles (8-12) : trip to Milwaukee, on the night of Friday to Saturday (01:30).
Portland (11-11) : trip to Utah, on the night of Saturday to Sunday (03:00).