The Lakers bounced back against the Blazers
Defeated by a team back to back Monday, the Lakers Want to avoid repeating such a bad adventure, faced 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 loss at the buzzer, winning in front of their audience (128-109).
A victory that was both logical and quiet on the part of “Purple & Gold”, against a group of Portland somewhat reduced, and which will enable them to better deal with the great program that awaits them now, far from Los Angeles : a trip six games on the East Coast and stops in Milwaukee, Washington, Cleveland, Toronto, Philadelphia or even Detroit…
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
— This time around Los Angeles was not damaged. Just like against the Pacers two days ago, the Lakers took advantage of the third quarter to stand up against the Blazers. Fueled primarily by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but also (and most importantly) Austin Reaves, they went on a 15-2 run that put the visitors on the ropes. The difference is that unlike the match against Indiana, the California substitutes did not waste this lead of fifteen points, when the LeBron/Davis duo was resting. When it returned to the game, it was also responsible for killing all the suspense in the final act.
— Austin Reaves, the spark of Los Angeles. For three quarters, the back of the Lakers (22 points, 7/10 on shots) was undoubtedly the best player on his team, before letting LeBron James and Anthony Davis twist the case in the last twelve minutes. First established in the absence of Lonnie Walker IV, he rallied his team in the first quarter, when they were down -11, to take them from 17-6 to 17-17. Then, certainly inspired in the attack, he performed some high-class actions, in the second and especially in the third quarter, to allow Los Angeles to pull away. X factor.
— LeBron James and Anthony Davis sharpen up before a road-trip test. And if this is the best game of the James / Davis duo since the beginning of this season? It’s not impossible, as the two teammates seemed to be on the same wavelength most of the night, on each side of the floor. Like their last quarter of fire (22 points in total), to drive away the Blazers and ensure the victory of the Lakers. A good sign, as six delicate international trips lie ahead for Darvin Ham’s men, against teams from the Eastern Conference…
✅ Thomas Bryant. From 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) was offered good things in Anthony Davis’ rotation. Energetic, active on the rebound, present in the paint and even threatening behind the arc, he formed a good interior doublet, along with Wenyen Gabriel.
✅ Justise Winslow and Shaedon Sharpe. If Jerami Grant (27 points) and Anfernee Simons (22 points, 8 assists) make stats again in the absence of Damian Lillard, without real influence in this part, the Winslow duo (21 points) — Sharpe (16 points) ) attracted and raised his level of play, while Chauncey Billups’ men lost a lot of depth on their bench. Aggressively, they supported the Grant/Simmons pair well, at five and off the bench. We’ll especially remember (and see again) rookie Sharpe’s big tap dance, which is sure to land in the Top 10 of the day…
⛔ Jusuf Nurkic. Symbolic of the struggles the Blazers have had against this Lakers team inside (13 offensive rebounds granted, 64 points scored in the paint and above all 26 points conceded in the second time), the Bosnian lived an ordeal throughout the night. Limited to just 8 points and 10 rebounds in 32 minutes (2/8 on shots), he didn’t see the light against Anthony Davis and even Thomas Bryant respectively. Not the kind of stabilization and expected performance, to compensate for the absences of Damian Lillard or Josh Hart…
ANOTHER SHOOT FROM MIDFIELD FOR A FAN!
Sure, Lakers fans are varnished right now and the sponsor (MGM) of this little inter-quarter-time game sure looks bad…
In fact, for the second time in a row, a spectator allowed himself to succeed with his shot from midfield! This time, it shouldn’t pocket $75,000, but “only” $25,000.
In two games, 100,000 dollars fell in the Crypto.com Arena, when we have not seen such a basket since January… 2020.
Los Angeles (8-12) : travel to Milwaukee, Friday through Saturday night (01:30).
Portland (11-11) : travel to Utah, in the evening from Saturday to Sunday (03:00).