After a surprising victory over Minnesota Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers returned to their losing ways.
The Lakers fell to Portland, 97-81, Sunday night at Staples Center to fall to 21-52 on the season. Los Angeles missed an opportunity for its first winning streak since January and remains in last place in the Western Conference.
Corey Brewer made his debut in the starting lineup for the Lakers, who were without the services of Brandon Ingram. The rookie is still suffering from knee tendinitis and missed the first game of his NBA career Sunday night. Brewer was once again the lone veteran in the Laker rotation, but made minimal impact in 19 minutes.
Los Angeles was competitive in the first half, the lone bright spot in a supremely ugly affair. Both teams shot 33 percent from the field, and the Lakers connected on only one 3-pointer in the period, as the Blazers took an eight-point lead into the break.
The points started to pour in after halftime, but most of them for Portland in another disastrous third quarter for L.A. Julius Randle scored to pull the team to within five points at 51-46 before the Blazers went on a 31-10 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to squelch any hope of a comeback.
D’Angelo Russell led the way for the Lakers, scoring 22 points on 8-of-19 shooting. Tyler Ennis had his most productive outing since being acquired by the purple and gold, adding 14 points, 5 assists, and 4 steals.
Nevertheless, the Lakers added another L to their ledger. Nine more to go.