The Los Angeles Lakers made their first-ever (and possibly last) Kobe Bryant Day game a memorable one. On Monday, the Lakers blew out the Portland Trail Blazers to take a commanding 3-1 leading in their first-round series, and they looked like they had fun while doing it.
The Lakers started the game on a 10-0 run, which was a good sign considering how much they’ve struggled to get themselves going since the season restarted. Their hot start allowed them to have a 24-8 lead at one point in the first quarter, which is very cool for obvious reasons.
At the half, the Lakers led 80-51. The 80 points they scored was the most they’ve scored in a playoff half since 1987, when they scored a franchise-record 82 points in a half. They also shot 62.2% from the field, which is the highest they’ve shot from the field in any half since 2010.
If it sounds like I’m only recapping the first half, it’s because I am. The game ended in the first half. The rowdy Trail Blazers that forced their way into the playoffs by way of a play-in tournament were nowhere to be found. From start to finish, Los Angeles was the better team with the better players.
That being said, there was one highlight worth noting from the second half.
For the game, L.A. set a new franchise record for 3-pointers with 17 makes. Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with five 3-pointers, followed by LeBron James, who made four 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 30 points.
The Lakers will try and wrap the series up with a win on Wednesday. Anthony Davis exited the game with back spasms, so it’s unclear if he’ll be available on Wednesday. Davis recorded 18 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks in 17:36.
If the Lakers win Game 5, they’ll have to wait a few days to find out which team they’ll play in the Western Conference semifinals, as the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder are tied at two games apiece.