The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in the midst of a six-game losing streak, losing to the Portland Trail Blazers in a 121-103 blowout. Portland pushed out to a 15-point lead going into the second quarter, taking advantage of a sloppy turnover-riddled effort from a rudderless offense.
That sloppy play was overflowing once garbage time hit in the fourth quarter, with both bench units fumbling and bumbling through the final minutes of what was a contest only by definition. Damian Lillard scored 36 points in under 30 minutes of play, making light work of the NBA's worst defense. C.J. McCollum added in 28 points, and the backcourt duo combined to shoot 9-of-16 from three-point range. The Lakers, as a team, made just seven threes.
Kobe Bryant scored 10 points in his final game in Portland, playing limited minutes but giving a crowd that was chanting for him throughout the night -- along with a mix of boos -- a few vintage perimeter jumpers to take home as a memory. D'Angelo Russell had another efficient night, scoring a team-high 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting.
Turning the ball over 18 times to a team that can push the pace with their marksmen guards is a recipe for disaster, and that's exactly what the Lakers were served up a heaping serving of. It was never going to be easy to shake off the knockout punch the Spurs hit them with just one night prior, and they looked like a team thats bell was still ringing.
The Lakers are off until Tuesday when they host the Dallas Mavericks. We'll see if they've found their equilibrium with a few days to soak in how they've found themselves in another streak of poor play.