PDX Beats LA
A day when the Los Angeles Lakers lose is a good day, but when it is done by the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers, that good day suddenly becomes a great day; and what a great day Sunday was.
Taking on the Lakers in Los Angeles, the Blazers claimed an early lead, saw it dwindle, burst for 41 points in the third, and eventually held off the Lakers to secure their 14th victory of the season while dropping LA to the .500 mark.
While the game did get hairy for Portland in the fourth, things really couldn’t have gone any better.
The starters were dominant, the bench was efficient, and the Blazers regained a share of the top spot in the Western Conference with San Antonio.
Here’s what there was to love and hate about the contest.
All Starters Contribute
LaMarcus Aldridge had 27, Nicolas Batum had nine, Robin Lopez had 12, Damian Lillard had 26, and Wesley Matthews had 17. To say the starters had a good day would be an understatement. In fact, the starters were dominant last night and greatly aided in Portland’s winning effort, as they should.
Those kinds of numbers day-in and day-out will ensure Portland is more than a playoff contender this season.
Gasol a Non-Factor
One of the reasons the Blazers managed to fend-off the Lakers on the road was because they neutralized Pau Gasol and made his contributions virtually insignificant on Sunday. While he has been limited due to an ankle issue he is undergoing an MRI for today, Gasol’s inability to establish a presence in the game had a big impact on Portland walking away with a win.
If nothing else, the Blazers beat Los Angeles and any time that happens is a reason to celebrate. So in case you haven’t had your obligatory beverage after the win, have one now.
Laker’s Surge in Fourth
Though the Blazers seemed to have the game in their favor heading into the final quarter of play, the Lakers did everything they could to make things interesting. Finally finding their true shot while Portland slacked off a bit, Los Angeles gave the Blazers a run for their money and ended up erasing quite a deficit in the final quarter of play.
While Portland still managed a win on Sunday, they can’t allow teams to go on the kinds of streaks LA did.
Can’t Hold Back Bench
The most interesting thing about Sunday’s game was not Portland’s inability to fend off LA’s starters. In fact, they did a great job at that. The problem the Blazers had on Sunday, interestingly enough, was holding back the Lakers’ bench. Xavier Henry had 27, Nick Young had 17, and Robert Sacre had 12. Those are numbers those players shouldn’t have, and Portland needs to do a better job of limiting ALL players, not just the starters.
But in the end there really isn’t much to complain about. The Blazers looked dominant against the Lakers and took the game with relative ease.
Looking ahead Portland has a huge game against Indiana tonight at home before taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Look for these two games to tell us the exact identity of this Blazers squad.