Trailblazers @ Lakers 11-30-2022
Lakers look to bounce back after ugly loss @ home tonight against undermanned Portland team.
After squandering a 17 point lead late in the game Monday night at Crypto center against the Pacers, The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to get back on track tonight against a Dameless Blazer team.
Portland coming off an ugly loss of their own against the @Clippers without All-Star tandem Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, let a victory slip between their fingers after going up big in the first half.
Both Portland and Los Angeles are in a bit of no man's land with the Lakers sitting at 13th in the west. The Blazers however seem to have a brighter future considering the team is 7th in the West and that's with Lillard sitting out for an extended period of time twice this season. He looks to come back and play later this week against the Indiana Pacers.
I look for the Lakers to come out and dominate the undermanned Blazers and set things right for Mondays debacle. Will it happen? Let's find out!
- Lakers are without Lonnie Walker (left foot soreness)
- Blazers are without Damian Lillard (calf strain), Josh Hart (ankle), Gary Payton Jr. (abdomen), Nasir Little (hip)
This game would start off pretty ugly for the Lakers. With Patrick Beverly coming back from suspension and starting in place of Lonnie Walker who I have really enjoyed watching this season the offense looked stagnate. Beverly would come out and miss his first two attempts along with AD starting the game cold. The Blazers took a early 12-4 lead forcing a Darvin Ham timeout.
Russ would come off the bench and provide some energy instantly getting his now usually standing ovation as he enters the game midway through the first quarter he would also come out cold going 0-2 early.
The Blazers wouldn't look much better especially with Anthony Davis roaming the paint on defense. The game was sloppy for the early part of the quarter but AD would keep the Lakers competitive defensively highlighted by a BIG BLOCK.
The first quarter would be highlighted by Austin Reaves who went on to have a career game. Reaves would provide much needed offense for the laker squad in the form of getting to the line and hustle plays like this.
AUSTIN REAVES COLDEST WHITEBOY IN THE NBA 🗣️🗣️🗣️ pic.twitter.com/62OKHr6CrX— LakeShowYo (@LakeShowYo) December 1, 2022
Lakers would Lead after one quarter 24-22.
Bron plays perfect.
LeBron James would start the second quarter on the floor after sitting midway through the first with only two points. That would change in a hurry. Bron would come out shooting showing no signs of that ankle turn from Monday night. James would open the second with a three point shot followed by a beautiful baseline jumper and a post fade-away. Los Angeles was moving the ball well at this point moving and relocating after a passing it looks like the Lakers are starting to buy into Ham's offense.
At this point in the game Portland guard Anfernee Simons who is named after NBA legend "Penny" Hardaway but plays like his injured teammate Damian Lillard with a dash of CJ McCollum started to heat up. Simons can hit the three ball with the best of them averaging 23PPG this season on 38% shooting from beyond the arch. He plays with the same confidence as Dame and even some of his same moves including the patented side step three. Simons and Jerami Grant son of former player Harvey Grant kept Portland in the game. Grant who is in a contract year has been playing at a NBA ALL-STAR level. Jerami who had stints with OKC and Detroit most recently is averaging 23PPG and 4REB.
When this Portland team is healthy they have a pretty decent squad.
Bron would continue his onslaught hitting another 3 and then follwing that up with a give and go MONSTER SLAM down the lane. (View here)
Not to be outdone for play of the half Portland swingman Shaedon Sharpe followed a missed Simons three attempt with a possible DUNK OF THE YEAR put back!
SHAEDON SHARPE MY GOODNESS— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) December 1, 2022
Russell Westbrook would end the half with a near half court buzzer beater putting the Lakers up 66-62 at the half.
Lebron and the Lakers would come out in which is usually the teams worst quarter this season with a much better intensity level. I think LeBron is getting use to the idea of really letting Anthony Davis run the show and even giving up some of the ball handling duties to Austin Reaves and Dennis Schroder who is recently back from injury. At the beginning of the season James was quoted as saying this is now AD's team but only in the past couple of weeks have we actually seen it. Maybe LeBron is realizing in order for this team to have any shot at the post season he for once doesn't need his fingerprints all over the game like he's done for the last 19 years. What I saw from the "King" tonight was much more of a methodical and laid back approach to scoring. He wasn't looking for the home run or exclamation point that I feel like he's been chasing ever since he's been in LA.
Reaves and AD would carry the LA in the third with AD posting a double double midway through the quarter and Reaves running total at 17.
The Brodie would hit yet another Buzzer Beater at the end of the third putting the Lakers up BIG and hitting a little CHA CHA for the fans.
RUSS WESTBROOK WITH HIS SECOND BUZZER BEATER. THIS ONE IS FROM HALF COURT 😱🚨pic.twitter.com/IGEGc1jgZi— Lakers Lead (@LakersLead) December 1, 2022
AD PUTS THEM AWAY
Los Angeles would open the fourth looking to put this game in the refrigerator (RIP Chick Hearn) early. Lebron would come out and score his 25th point on another three pointer. He had it going from beyond the arc tonight. James would finish with 31PTS 8AST 7REB and going 6/8 from three. Probably his best all around game this season considering he wasn't laboring the entire game.
Anthony Davis would put the final nail in the coffin with two put backs at the rim and a layup AND-1 that sent Portland home. AD would finish the game with 27PTS 12 REB and 3 BLKS continuing his MVP level of play.
The Lakers would beat the Portland Trailblazers 129-109
- Even though the Lakers have had a pretty easy schedule these past couple of weeks, it was good to see the team play with a lot of energy and pride.
- It seems like ages ago where Laker fans were screaming at Russ not to shoot and booing the effort. Darvin Ham has done a decent job getting this team who doesn't have the best defensive players outside of AD to buy into a defensive scheme.
- Austin Reaves has become one of my favorite NBA players. He plays the game pretty straightforward minimal flash but not a player lacking confidence. As a rookie I didn't see him handling the ball the way he has this season. If he can nail down the three point shot and continue to learn from the games best LeBron he could be a really good player. Fringe All-Star maybe.
- Finally Anthony Davis has been looking like the guy we all knew he could be. I feel like after the championship run a part of him got complacent and even the weekend warriors know if you're playing the game half assed it could lead to small injuries here and there. His renewed mindset of playing the game to the standards he's set for himself before in my opinion has prevented those crazy injuries we started getting use to seeing.
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