Blazers pull away from shorthanded Lakers
Damian Lillard bounced back from one of the worst performances of his NBA career to score 25 points and lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 105-90 win against the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night.
Lillard was held to four points in a win against the Indiana Pacers on Friday night, matching the lowest output of his career. Lillard shot 2-for-13 from the floor against Indiana and missed all six of his 3-point attempts.
He bounced back to make 9-of-19 against the short-handed Lakers, including 6-of-14 from 3-point range. Jusuf Nurkic contributed 15 points and 17 rebounds for the Trail Blazers.
The Lakers continued to be without four-time MVP LeBron James, who missed his second straight game with an abdominal strain.
Anthony Davis started against Portland, but the eight-time All-Star center played just seven minutes before departing because of a stomach illness. The team said it was non-COVID-19 related. Davis was also dealing with a sprained right thumb and was questionable to play at all.
The Lakers did not have a starter score in double figures.
Malik Monk scored 13 points, Carmelo Anthony had 12 and Dwight Howard 11 off the bench for Los Angeles.
The Lakers never led and fell behind by double digits for good when Nurkic made a driving layup off an assist from Lillard for a 21-10 lead with 5:16 left in the first quarter.
Portland stretched the lead to 34-12 with 51.5 seconds left in the opening quarter and maintained a 22-point advantage entering the second.
The Trail Blazers led by as many as 24 points in the second quarter before a scoring drought of nearly 4 1/2 minutes allowed the Lakers to claw back 14 points.
Portland managed to maintain its double digit-lead before taking a 51-36 advantage into the break.
The Lakers scored the first four points of the second half to pull within 11, but the Trail Blazers outscored Los Angeles 42-22 the rest of the quarter to take an 83-62 lead into the fourth.
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