March 26, 2017
The Blazers pulled away from the Lakers in the 3rd quarter on Sunday night at Staples Center, defeating LA 97-81.
Damian Lillard scored 22 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 5 assists, while Noah Vonleh grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds. The Blazers outscored the Lakers 37-24 in the 3rd quarter.
The Lakers trailed by 8 points in the 3rd quarter when the Blazers blew open the game with a barrage of 3-pointers. Portland went on a 16-3 run, which included four 3-pointers. That gave them a 21-point lead.
“When you’re committed to defense, you always give yourself a chance to win games,” Lakers Coach Luke Walton said. “Unfortunately that didn’t carry over into the third quarter. . . . Every time we messed up a coverage, or we misread a situation, Portland, they got a lot of weapons on that team offensively. They made us pay for it.”
D’Angelo Russell led the Lakers with 22 points and had two assists. Reserve point guard Tyler Ennis added 14 points. LA played without rookie Brandon Ingram, who sat out with patellar tendinitis in his right knee that had been bothering him since Thursday’s practice.
Allen Crabbe scored 18 points off the bench for the Blazers, who tied the Denver Nuggets for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Lakers, who won their previous game against the Timberwolves, have won consecutive games only once since mid-November.
The Lakers shot only 39% from the field. “We just didn’t make the shots,” Lakers center Ivica Zubac said. “We had some good looks. We executed good. But we just couldn’t make the shots.”
Up next for LA, they’ll face the Wizards on Tuesday night at Staples Center.