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FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Trail Blazers – Game 47

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (22-25) | Portland Trail Blazers (21-25)

 

The Lake Show came back from a 25-point deficit at halftime to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 121-112

 

Lakers vs Trail Blazers
Howard Lao/The Oregonian

Anthony Davis’ return could be just around the corner. Darvin Ham told reporters that Davis looked phenomenal” going through a full-contact scrimmage with the ‘stay ready’ group that includes some coaching staffers and low-minute players. The ramp-up towards a return to game action continues to trend in a positive direction.

Ham also thinks it’s crucial for the Lakers to get their injured players back before assessing what roster moves need to be made, such as Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reaves. It should be reiterated that Walker IV is closer to returning to action than Reaves.

The Lakers went with the same starters against Portland with Dennis Schroder, Patrick Beverley, Troy Brown Jr., LeBron James, and Thomas Bryant.

James and Damian Lillard wasted no time as they traded buckets on their first possessions. The game was fast-paced early on, and surprisingly, the advantage was towards the Lake Show, as they shot out to a 15-2 lead, which included back-to-back threes from James.

Bryant was also hot early on, sinking his second three of the game and forcing Portland to call a timeout finally. Portland’s head coach Chauncey Billups allowed the bleeding to go on for a bit too long, as the Lake Show took firm control at 18-4 with 8:32 left in the first quarter.

However, the timeout seemed to work as the Blazers came out and went on a quick 5-0 run. However, it wouldn’t last long, as the king seemed locked in from the get-go. Anfernee Simons quelled the Lake Show’s momentum a bit when he hit a three but packaged that with an and-1 from Josh Hart, and it was nearly a brand new ball game with the Lakers’ lead down to six points.

Russell Westbrook got caught overhelping when Max Christie didn’t need it, and that got Nassir Little an open look from three. However, you could also argue that Juan Toscano-Anderson was late on the rotation. Nevertheless, Portland had drained the Lake Show’s lead to two. Though when James checked back in, he got things back on track. At the end of the first quarter, the score read Lakers 33, Blazers 26.

Wenyen Gabriel looked a bit hectic in this one, as he usually is, but it seemed amplified as he already had three turnovers and three fouls. Now usually, it’s because of his aggressiveness. However, this time it felt as if he wasn’t fully concentrating. He did have four points on 2-2 FGs, so it wasn’t all bad.

The Trail Blazers took the lead after Simons was left all alone from three, and the Lake Show trailed 39-38 with 7:38 left in the first half. Lillard and Pat Bev got into a slightly heated exchange, and somehow only Beverley was awarded a technical, which gave Portland some cushion with a four-point lead.

Portland was red-hot, and as James headed to the bench, the Lake Show was in the middle of suffering a 15-4 scoring run by the Trail Blazers. Ham would finally decide to stop the bleeding after Jerami Grant postered Bryant

When it rains, it pours. The Lake Show was down 60-46 with 2:38 left in the first half. A series of plays signified how the game had gone so far, with Westbrook getting rejected by Drew Eubanks and then Shaedon Sharpe finishing it off with an alley-oop dunk. However, it wouldn’t be complete without an airball from Westbrook and a three from 36 feet by Lillard.

 

At halftime, the score read Blazers 71, Lakers 46. LA somehow forgot how to play basketball in the second quarter. LA gave up a 13-0 run to close the half. It was a disastrous second quarter, with the Lakers being outscored 45-13.

 

Lakers vs Trail Blazers
Howard Lao/The Oregonian

Heading into the second half, the first five minutes of the third quarter showcased the Lake Show’s ability to fight through adversity, as they were outscoring the Trail Blazers 16-8. LA’s heart was on full display as they forced the turnover on the defensive end and finished it with an alley-oop dunk from King James on the offensive end. Coach Billups was forced to reign in his guys.

However, that time out didn’t work this time, as LA still exploded out to a 14-4 run after the fact, cutting Portland’s lead to 83-76 with four minutes remaining in the third quarter. James and Bryant were once again instrumental, as they had combined for 18 points in the third quarter alone thus far. The king wouldn’t let up, as he rejected a shot on one end and then took it the other way for a transition layup.

James attacked Portland’s rim throughout LA’s third-quarter push and was 9-10 inside, accounting for 18 of his 31 points. Portland, who ranked 23rd in the NBA in paint points allowed, allowing LA to go 23-29. At the end of the third quarter, the score read Blazers 91, Lakers 86.

Westbrook got the fourth quarter started with a fadeaway jumper in the paint. It’s always a sight for sore eyes when Russ is hitting jumpers. However, LA was still making Simons and Eubanks look like Shaq & Kobe, as Simons drilled a jumper with ease, and Eubanks sent Westbrook’s layup into the second row.

After a wide-open three for Bryant, his fourth, the Lake Show had secured the lead at 98-97 with 7:38 left in regulation. It wouldn’t last long, though, as Grant responded with a three of his own. Pat Bev was in the right place at the right time and forced a Portland turnover to tie the game up.

Hart and Schroder would trade threes, and Bryant would get a jump hook to fall. It was a brand new ball game, a battle of mediocre teams with the potential to be a top-12 team on any given night. After free throws from James, the Lake Show had a semi-comfortable four-point lead.

Bryant continued to be essential as he snagged an offensive rebound and posterized Eubanks. Bryant would get another dunk on the very next possession off of a putback, almost as if he was avenging Russ for all of the times Eubanks blocked him.

Brown would seemingly hit the dagger as he drained a three to take a nine-point lead at 119-110 with 46.1 seconds left. It would’ve taken a miracle for the Trail Blazers to pull it out, but it also took a miracle for the Lakers to come back. The final score read Lakers 121, Blazers 112.

 

Key Takeaways

 

Lakers vs Trail Blazers
Photo Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/AP

The Lake Show pulled off a huge comeback to improve to 22-25. King James had 37 points (2-7 3PM), 11 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks. Bryant had 31 points (12-15 FGs, 4-5 3PM), 14 rebounds, and two blocks. Bryant also became only the third Laker in the last 40 years to record 30+ points and 14+ rebounds on 80% FG shooting in a game. Schroder added 24 points (10-10 FTs), six rebounds, and eight assists. 

Lillard didn’t explode but still totaled 24 points (5-17 FGs, 3-13 3PM), six rebounds, and ten assists. Simons was the main guy in this one with 31 points (7-13 3PM). Grant chipped in 19 points (6-16 FGs). Hart had 13 points, ten rebounds, and seven assists.

Ham told reporters about his halftime message after falling behind by 25, “How many times do we have to watch this movie before we change? It can start right now.”

 

The Lakers will now take on the Los Angeles Clippers. They’ll face off on Tuesday, January 24th, at 7:00 p.m. PT at the Crypto.com Arena. The game will be available on TNT.

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– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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