Video Credit: NBA

New FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Trail Blazers- Game 37

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (18-19)  | Portland Trail Blazers (13-22)


The Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James put on a show to close out 2021 in a blowout 139-106 victory over Trail Blazers.


Lakers vs Trail Blazers
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers ended 2021 on a high note as they blew out the Portland Trail Blazers at Arena, 139-106.

It was a hot start for the Lakers and LeBron James, who hit their first four field-goal attempts and took a 12-4 lead in the process. With James at center, Los Angeles’ offense had no issues carving up the Portland defense, and they extended their advantage to 15.

The Lakers remained up by double digits, but the Trail Blazers began to heat up from the outside as former Lakers players Ben McLemore and Larry Nance Jr. hit their four attempts. Carmelo Anthony was able to respond to McLemore’s hot shooting with three triples of his own though against his former team, and L.A. led 43-28 after one.

James made sure the Lakers remained firmly in control after knocking down his third three of the night to start the second quarter, while defensively, the team did an excellent job of ensuring Damian Lillard did not get a clean look. Portland had zero answers for James as the newly turned 37-year-old soared down the lane for a dunk and followed it up with a corner three. He had an impressive 27 points in the first half to go with ten rebounds.

The Blazers briefly made a dent in the deficit, but Malik Monk kept the scoring going to ensure the Lakers stayed well ahead.


Portland showed signs of life in the closing moments, but Los Angeles led 69-54 at the half.


Lakers vs Trail Blazers
Photo Credit: Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The recipe for the Lakers was the same to begin the third as James bullied the undersized Blazers to keep them from closing the gap. Russell Westbrook recorded another triple-double after finding Stanley Johnson under the basket, pushing the lead back up to 20.

Despite the significant lead, James continued to play both ends, which energized Los Angeles and kept Portland from making any sort of run. The Lakers had a chokehold on the momentum, and they would go into the final period up 101-77.

The Laker defense remained active as James and Austin Reaves came up with steals that ignited their transition offense. With James remaining hot from the field and the defense bottling up the Blazer bench, the Lakers came away victorious.

James finished the night with a season-high 43 points on 16-of-26 shooting to go along with 14 rebounds, four assists, and zero turnovers in his first game as a 37-year-old.


Collison or Johnson could be signed for the remainder of the season.


The motivation behind the Lakers trading Rajon Rondo to the Cavaliers and only receiving Denzel Valentine, whose contract is only partially guaranteed and they are expected to waive, was so they could open up a roster spot.

With that spot, the expectation is L.A. will sign either Collison or Johnson for the rest of the season, and it’s just a matter of which one they choose. It’s also possible that more trades are on the horizon so the Lakers can keep both, although only time will tell if that comes to fruition.


The Lakers will be back at home to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday. The game will begin at 6:30 and can be seen on Spectrum SportsNet.

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– Matt Dobbs – Franchise Sports Media

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