Lakers vs. Portland: Lakers make tough test look easy in win over Trail Blazers
Lakers 121, Trail Blazers 96 (end of game)
This was supposed to be the first real test of the season for the Lakers, the first team that would challenge the two-time defending NBA champions.
Instead, the Lakers just blew out another opponent.
Portland was never in this game.
The Lakers opened a 13-point lead at the end of the first quarter, increased it to 22 points at the half and led by 29 in the second half.
Pau Gasol led the way, recording a triple-double with 20 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.
Lamar Odom had a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
Every Lakers starter scored in double figures.
But for Ron Artest, who had 11 points, his defense on Portland's All-Star guard Brandon Roy was big.
Artest held Roy to eight points. Roy was just one for eight from the field.
The Lakers improved to 7-0.
Lakers 89, Trail Blazers 64 (end of third quarter)
By the end of the third quarter, Pau Gasol already had a triple-double.
He posted 20 points on nine-for-13 shooting and had 14 rebounds and 10 assists.
Gasol's last triple-double was Feb. 12, 2009, against the Atlanta Hawks, when he had 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
It was his second triple-double with the Lakers, the third of his career.
The Lakers went up by as much as 27 points in the third quarter.
Lakers 58, Trail Blazers 36 (end of first half)
The Lakers only got better in the second quarter, opening a 24-point lead at one time.
Pau Gasol was the man for the Lakers in the first half.
He had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. He also had seven assists to help the Lakers to a 22-point halftime lead.
Lakers 27, Trail Blazers 14 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers played very good defense on the Trail Blazers, limiting them to 36.8% shooting. That allowed the Lakers to open a 15-point lead at one point in the first quarter.
Offensively, the Lakers shot the ball well, making 55% of their shots. Pau Gasol scored eight points on three-for-five shooting.
Brandon Roy, Portland's top offensive weapon, didn't score in the first quarter, missing his two shots.
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said before his team played Portland on Sunday night at Staples Center that the Trail Blazers have three players who do the majority of their scoring.
Jackson said the Lakers planned to focus their defense on Portland guards Brandon Roy and Andre Miller and forward LaMarcus Aldridge.
"We spend time talking about those three and how the other guys fit in around them," Jackson said.
Roy entered the game averaging 22 points, Aldridge 19.7 and Miller 12.
The Lakers entered the game with a 6-0 record; the Trail Blazers were 5-2.
Jackson has said the Trail Blazers will be a nice test for the Lakers.
-- Broderick Turner
Photo: Lakers center Pau Gasol prepares to shoot a left-handed jump hook over Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge in the first half Sunday night. Credit: Harry How / Getty Images