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Lakers hang on for win over Blazers without LeBron James

The Lakers may not have had LeBron James on Sunday, but Anthony Davis did his part to lead the way past the pesky Blazers.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Lakers Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a valiant effort from the Blazers throughout, the Lakers withstood a fourth-quarter rally to earn a second straight win, 116-110. The victory came without LeBron James, but with newfound health across the roster, the Lakers had enough to earn the win and move back to .500.

Anthony Davis bounced back from his poor showing against the Suns with 30 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three blocks. Cam Reddish continued his string of strong showings with 18 points and Austin Reaves continued his Manu-esque performances off the bench with 18 points on 6-12 shooting.

With LeBron James out with a left calf contusion, Rui Hachimura got the start tonight in his place and excelled, scoring 19 points on 6-10 shooting from the field and 6-6 shooting at the line.

Reddish came out of the gate strong, picking up right where he left off against Phoenix last game by scoring a quick four points with two steals. The Lakers allowed the Blazers to go on a 13-4 run that had them take a quick lead, but the momentum shifted and the Lakers regained the lead as soon as Reaves came in as the team went on a 6-0 run after he subbed in.

For the first time in what seems like decades, the Lakers did not go down double digits in the first quarter and ended leading 31-28. Reddish was the only player to be in double digits from both teams, scoring 10 points.

The Blazers went on a 12-2 run to lead by seven close to the midway point of the second quarter. The defensive struggles continued for the Lakers as the Blazers kept a lead for much of the quarter. At the half, the Lakers were down one, 57-56.

Reddish continued to glow with confidence, scoring 16 points to lead all Lakers while also snagging two steals and four rebounds to end the half. Davis looked more in rhythm this game, scoring 11 points with two blocks, three assists, and six rebounds through the two quarters.

To begin the third, the Blazers went up five quickly. For much of the game, the Lakers were able to respond well to any run the Blazers went on. At the midway point, the Lakers went up seven after a 3-pointer by Reaves. He then extended the lead to nine with a midrange shot. Reaves was the playmaker throughout that quarter doing much of everything to help the Lakers lead 91-80 at the end of the third.

D’Angelo Russell’s 10th assist came with a pass to Jaxson Hayes for a dunk to start the 4th quarter. The Blazers got it within four on a 9-0 run after the Lakers started to play lackadaisical. AD really began to put his stamp on the game, becoming even more aggressive. Of course, the Blazers answered and got it within one at the midway point.

Taurean Prince finally broke a curse of about six games scoring in single digits by providing an important layup to help the Lakers extend their lead. With six seconds left in the game, the Blazers got it within four but it wasn’t enough and the Lakers got the win improving to 5-0 at home.

Key Takeaways:

Reddish is playing with beaming confidence that will be essential for the Lakers moving forward. To be inserted into the starting lineup twice and come out both times doing a bit of everything is huge. His steals have been an added bonus to his stellar play as he got three more on Sunday.

The Lakers finally looked more competent for a full game with their rebounding, although not by much, getting 50 to the Blazers 47. Every night they’ll need to get better in this department so they can with the second chance points, which they lost tonight by one point, 11-10.

With AD looking more like himself, the Lakers won the points in the paint battle tonight scoring 68.

The Lakers’ next game is against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday at 7 P.M. PT on Spectrum SportsNet.

You can follow Karin on Twitter at @KarinAbcarians.

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