The Los Angeles Lakers started out their road trip talking about how they never want to lose two games in a row. Now that it’s over, it’s safe to say “Mission Accomplished,” as they just straight up didn’t lose at all, finishing up a three-game sweep of the trip with a dominant, 136-113 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Simply put, LeBron James and Anthony Davis were not going to let L.A. lose this one. The Blazers’ overmatched and undersized frontcourt made Davis look like a high schooler playing against elementary school students from the jump, as he dominated the first quarter and finished with 39 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks. Meanwhile, James got his revenge on Mario Hezonja for that block at the end of the Knicks loss last year, imposing his will in every aspect of the game to end the night with 31 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds and a team-high plus-minus of +21.
As far as the rest of the Lakers, Kyle Kuzma was efficient with 15 points on 12 shots, while JaVale McGee went 6-7 from the field while feasting on lob dunks right from the start of the game. The whole team then locked in just enough on defense to pull out a victory (while also getting the benefit of 45.7% shooting from behind the arc themselves).
Rajon Rondo left the game with a hamstring strain during halftime, as he complained of tightness to the training staff and didn’t come back in. Updates on his health (and that of Avery Bradley) will likely be coming tomorrow when the team returns to Los Angeles.
But for tonight, Lakers fans should enjoy this win. Critics knocked the Lakers for their easy schedule early, and now they’ve gone on the road and beaten three playoff teams in a row, and are 20-3 overall. As they get set to head home to face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, that’s worth celebrating while they continue this incredibly hot start to what looks like a more promising season by the game.