Portland 111, Lakers 94: The northwest passing
The purple and gold entered Monday night's game in Portland having lost six straight at the Rose Garden and 12 of 14 on the Blazers' home floor, with an opportunity to send a message. They did, but likely not the one they intended, losing 111-94 in a game that (seriously) wasn't actually that close. Portland closed the first quarter on a 16-6 run to take a nine point lead. From there, it was mostly a matter of how many whistles would blow before the game would finally- thankfully, mercifully- end.
Kudos to anyone who can find good work from someone in purple and gold tonight. Samples (and I emphasize sample as the full list would be nearly infinite) of the carnage include:
- Portland lit up the Lakers for 61 points in the first half, while the Lakers were limited to 38.
- Lamar Odom continued his run of subpar games with a four foul, four turnover night, finishing with seven points on 2-5 from the floor.
- Kobe Bryant finished 11-29 and only visited the line twice, Luke Walton had two points and nary a rebound in nearly 25 minutes of burn. Derek Fisher had one field goal and a single dime in 24 minutes of his own, while Trevor Ariza made only one shot before getting tossed at the end of the third for a Flagrant 2 on Portland's Rudy Fernandez. That would be the photo at right.
- Until posting a meaningless, garbage time 38 points in the fourth, LA's high water mark in points for a quarter was 22.
- The Blazers killed the Lakers on the boards, outrebounding them
on both ends. Portland did particular damage on the offensive glass,
earning an unsightly number of second (and third, and fourth...)
I could go on, but really, why bother? You get the point. I had mentioned on the radio that I thought of the three games on the road trip, this was the most important, given LA's wretched recent history in Portland and some of the matchup issues the Blazers present. After all, a first or second round matchup against these guys is certainly a possibility. Fair to say the Lakers did nothing to put a dent in Portland's confidence. More to come tomorrow.