Lakers

FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Trail Blazers – Game 2 – 8/21/2020

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(#1) Los Angeles Lakers  |  (#8) Portland Trail Blazers

 

After dropping Game 1 to Portland, the Lakers came out aggressive for the dominating 111-88 victory.

 

The Portland Trail Blazers shocked most of the world (looking at Charles Barkley) when they took down the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1, 100-93. It is safe to say that the Lakers were put on a high alert after losing the first game because they came out swinging and did not take their foot off the gas in Game 2, tying up the series at 1-1.

 

Lakers
Photo Credit: Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP

Anthony Davis responded to the call as one of the team’s leaders with 21 first-half points on 9-13 (69.2%) shooting. Davis was doing everything that one of the best players in the league should be doing. He was aggressive on the glass on both sides of the floor, amounting to eight rebounds at the half. Davis also made sure to run the floor, leading to being rewarded with the transition buckets.

LeBron James, who was coming off another triple-double performance, continued to do the little bit of everything that it takes to be a great leader on a successful team. That means scoring and facilitating on offense, while also locking in and playing great defense on the other end of the floor.

Luckily for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who had a donut (0 points) in Game 1, he got off to a good start as well. Instead of going for 0-9, he went into halftime with 6 points on 2-2 shooting from three.

 

 

Lakers
Photo Credit: Silver Screen and Roll

Like I had predicted in my preview article, the coaching staff made a few changes with the rotation for Game 2. Dion Waiters only logged one minute in the first game, and this time was different, with Waiters already getting five minutes by the half. Newcomer J.R. Smith even got to enter the game at the beginning of the second quarter, despite him not also entering the series opener.

As a whole, Los Angeles looked like a different team, even on defense, from how they played on Tuesday. Their rotations were quicker, made sure to put bodies on the opposition for rebounds, and were communicating on all cylinders for help defense. They were looking like the strong defensive team that earned them the top seed in the Western Conference.

At the half, the Lakers were up nearly 20 points, with the score being 56-39. Unfortunately for Portland, the Lake Show only continued to pile it on in the second half. Los Angeles broke the game wide open and finished the third quarter with the 30 point lead, at 88-58.

Things only seemed to get worse for the Trail Blazers, as star player Damian Lillard seemed to injure his finger and exit the game in the third quarter. Lillard seems to jam his finger when attempting to steal the ball from Davis. He immediately grabbed his hand in pain and motioned to be taken out of the game.

 

 

Lakers
Photo Credit: News Opener

The play resulted in a dislocated left index finger for Lillard, but luckily his x-ray results came back negative. Due to the game already being out of hand, Lillard never returned to the game, finishing with 18 points. It remains to be seen, but my guess is that he will be back to play in Game 3.

Davis showed precisely why the Lakers traded for him last summer, finishing with a double-double of 31 points and 11 rebounds. It was an excellent performance to bounce back from the disappointing loss.

James did not finish with the big number as he did in the previous game, but I am sure he is much happier with the win. He did not score at all in the second half, but I would take 10 points and a win over a triple-double and a loss in the playoffs every time.

Caldwell-Pope finished the game with 16 points on 5-8 (62.5%) shooting from the floor, a whole lot better than going 0-9. Starting center, JaVale McGee had a decent game with 10 points and eight rebounds. Smith even finished in double figures off the bench with 11 points on 3-9 (33%) shooting from the three.

Rajon Rondo sat out due to his broken thumb but was questionable. Perhaps he can make his bubble debut and return for Game 3. Zach Collins also sat out for Portland and is still doubtful for Saturday.

The Lakers tied the series up 1-1 and carry all the momentum in the series now with the dominant victory. For Lakers Nation, it is great to see them finally get a playoff victory, their first since May 2012. After breaking the red-hot Blazers five-game winning streak, the Lakers will now look to take a 2-1 series lead in Game 3.

 

Game 3 will be on Saturday, August 22, at 5:30pm. You can watch the game on ABC.

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Isaiah Torres

Twitter: Isaiah_Torres24

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