The Los Angeles Lakers played a brilliant half of basketball, but a fourth-quarter run from Evan Turner threw it all away in a 118-109 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. Turner took over down the stretch, scoring 15 points for Portland while the Lakers’ offense sputtered through the final 12 minutes.
Turner finished with 20 points, saving his buckets until the fourth quarter. C.J. McCollum hit a big three-point to put the Blazers up nine late in the fourth quarter, which felt like the actual dagger despite the game dragging on a few more minutes. McCollum scored a game-high 27 points.
There was a stretch of Lakers basketball bliss in the second quarter, where rebounds were fought for, blocks were had, defense was full-effort and ball movement led to easy points. That execution amounted to a 38-24 quarter in the Lakers’ favor, giving them a nine point lead going into halftime. They lost the second half 65-47.
D’Angelo Russell couldn’t find his shooting stroke after locking in against the Memphis Grizzlies, missing all eight of his attempts from outside. He still finished with a team-high 22 points, doing his damage at the free-throw line (10-of-11). Jordan Clarkson had a strong game off the bench, dropping 21 points while shooting four-of-seven from three-point range.
The Lakers had a grasp on this game through the first half but couldn’t carry forward what felt like some well-orchestrated momentum. They’ll fly back to Los Angeles to host the Miami Heat Friday night, closing their back-to-back set.