Without LeBron James for a fourth-straight game, the Lakers battled to a win to snap their three-game losing streak to the Blazers at home on Wednesday, 99-94.
Anthony Davis put forth a herculean effort on the night, particularly on the glass, pouring in 30 points with 15 rebounds on 10/18 shooting from the field to lead the Lakers. It was Davis who repeatedly rescued the Lakers on the offensive end down the stretch with a number of offensive rebounds.
Carmelo Anthony added 24 points and eight rebounds off the bench, knocking in five of his six 3-pointers on the night.
A sloppy effort from both teams led to a rather poor product at times on the night, the Lakers finishing with 16 turnovers and Portland blowing roughly that many layups in response. Those turnovers by the hosts led to 24 points for the Trail Blazers while the Lakers scored a singular point off of 12 Portland turnovers.
It wasn’t the prettiest of victories on the night, but the Lakers are in no position to choose how they win ball games at this point in the season with the playoffs rapidly approaching.
The purple and gold came out shooting the ball well in the early going, opening up a 16-10 lead. Largely speaking, the Blazers stayed in the game because of early fouls. Eventually, though, the Lakers pulled away in the early stages with defensive stops of their own paired with more sharpshooting, including a Carmelo Anthony 3-pointer to put the team up 24-12.
As has been the case this season, every good thing for the Lakers must immediately be followed by a bad and Anthony Davis limped to the bench heading into the timeout.
Anthony Davis staying on the bench after the timeout https://t.co/dhDaMS0Hn0— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) February 3, 2022
However, Anthony ensured the Lakers would survive Davis’ absence with 10 points in the first quarter against his former team, giving the hosts a 28-16 lead at the quarter break.
Dwight Howard helped provide a spark for the Lakers during the second quarter, notching a quick seven points and five rebounds in his first six minutes of action in the first half. But the Blazers started knocking down long-range efforts and the lead quickly dwindled down to 39-35.
Anfernee Simons knocked down a third consecutive 3-pointer for Portland to force a Lakers timeout with the lead at just a single point. Anthony came out of the timeout to help restore the lead back to six points but the Blazers continued scoring to keep pace with the hosts.
Norman Powell would eventually tie the game for the first time at the 2-minute mark of the second quarter on a layup, leveling the scores at 48-48. A pair of Davis freebies, an Avery Bradley corner 3-pointer and another Davis free throw moved the lead back to six but Simons again knocked down a 3-pointer to halve the deficit to 54-51 heading into the locker room.
CJ McCollum flew out of the gates in the second half, scoring the first eight points of the third quarter for Portland. A Nurkic layup gave the guests their largest lead of the game at 63-59, forcing a Lakers timeout.
The Lakers failed to seize opportunities to cut into the lead with a string of turnovers and offensive fouls. Malik Monk finally broke the cold stretch with a 3-pointer to pull Los Angeles back to within three points at 68-65. But that was not the start of a run as the Blazers pushed the lead back to six points before a mid-range jumper from Davis.
Portland maintained its distance to end the third quarter before Anthony buried a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 73-72 with 38 seconds remaining in the frame. Dennis Smith Jr. rattled home a buzzer beater to end the third quarter to push the lead back to three points at 75-72 heading into the fourth quarter.
Stanley Johnson, Anthony and Talen Horton-Tucker gave the Lakers a lead to start the fourth, the latter of those knocking down a 3-pointer to put the Lakers up 80-76. Sloppy play from both sides led to an exciting, if not high-scoring middle stage of the fourth quarter. Davis answered a Norman Powell dunk with a mid-range jumper to give the Lakers an 88-83 lead with 4:24 left, forcing a Portland timeout.
Powell converted a corner 3-pointer to pull back to within a possession at 88-86, but Westbrook connected on a freebie to push the lead back to three points. Powell promptly tied the game on the ensuing possession with another 3-pointer.
Davis gave the Lakers a lead with another jumper then converted at the line off a turnover to again push the lead to three points. Another defensive stop gave way to another pair of Davis free throws that he knocked down, giving the hosts a 94-89 lead.
Free throw woes down the stretch allowed the Trail Blazers to hang around late but the Lakers closed out the win to snap their losing streak.
The Lakers will immediately be back in action on Thursday when they “travel” to face the Clippers. Tip-off is set for 7:00 PT with the game broadcast on TNT.