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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.

The Lakers out-rebounded the Trail Blazers in the first half, 25-11.

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

Comments () | Archives (8)

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WOW!!! MVP Pau Gasol had a triple double. He has brought two rings to the Lakers with his unself play. Who will be next with a triple double? Odam? Or will be Pau again? Shaq brought the Lakers three rings in his first three years with L.A. Pau on his way to match that. MVLP (Most Valuable Laker Player) Gasol!!! He doesn't have to run down the court pounding his chest, or have his picture on the Times Sport page 98% of the time. Today we see him hugging/ hogging, the ball. Pau, we NBA fans KNOWS who brings the Laker rings. Thank you Shaq, and Pau. Here's hoping Pau will bring us the second three peat!!

It's a little obvious that your not a Kobe fan...By the way Gasol didn't get out first round till he joined Kobe...Good job Lakers!

Oh hammer, Shaq came to the Lakers in 1996 when Kobe and Fisher entered the league, Lakers didnt win first title with him until 1999. (1999,2000,2001)
But with Pau Gasol, they have been to the NBA Finals each of the three years (2008,2009,2010) he has been with the team winning the title last two. It's starting to look like the last three, but its early. Just clearing up the facts. Shaq has one ring (Miami)without Kobe, but Kobe has two without him.

Hammer, if u insist on ignoring obvious reasons for the successes the Lakers have enjoyed since 1999, the first championship year with Kobe and Shaq, please at least get your history correct. It was not Shaq' first year but his third, I believe. And, no one mugged it up and down the court like Shaq could.

The key to this win was not so much the stseters' strong performance on offense and defense, but the second unit's ability to hold on and even add onto the lead that's been established. One had only to look at the +/- figures to conclude that the bench played superbly (NOTE: only Sasha and Luke had -2 and -1, respectively, and this was during uber-garbage time) and which gave Phil the luxury of limiting Kobe's minutes to below 30. I expected lesser minutes for the starters. Check. I expected an average double-figure advantage for the season. Check.

Dear Santa, can you speed up the clock so it's December 25 already? :)



Gasol didn't even win a single playoff GAME until he joined up with Kobe.:P

But let's face it... He wouldn't rack up so many assists without: (1) the right plays to get shooters open;) (2) people committing to the plays;) and (3) the shooters being experienced and skilled enough to consummate. Make me reminisce about the Dark Years a.k.a. The Smush/ Kwame years when Kobe was forced to take matters into his own hands because he couldn't trust his teammates to convert his assist passes. What we are seeing now is a well-oiled machine with parts that just imbibes the concept of team play.

Everyone, my history was not so good either. Kobe and Shaq's first championship year was 99-200o, their 4th year as Lakers. I forgot to mention it was Shaq's histrionics or mugging on the court that convinced Dr. Buss to trade him when Shaq histrionically demanded more money on his contract during the course of a game.

The Portland Punks...bunch of over-achievers, and Brandon Roy, 8 points, 3 assists, 1-6 shooting, these are great All Star Stats.



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