First Half: Yet another terrible half, to join a recent trend. The Blazers seemed to not think they needed to show up and put in an effort, as the Lakers ran circles around them, scoring inside and out, on the break and in half court, with no serious effort from the Blazer D. There was nothing positive to say about the Blazers in this half, other than a highlight Lopez dunk. The Blazers made a late run to cut a 15 point deficit to 7.
Los Angeles 63, Portland 56
Third Quarter: More of the same, as the Blazers couldn't score consistently, and the Lakers easily stayed ahead. Portland almost accidentally made a run, relying on a few Laker errors for a few consecutive three's from Wright. That cut the deficit to 3 and forced a Laker timeout. Afterward, the Blazer D promptly gave an open three to Kent Bazemore. It was a generally infuriating game for the fans. Portland found ways to stay close, and a late foul on the Lakers gave Batum three free throws, making it a one-possession lead for the Lakers heading to the fourth.
Los Angeles 87, Portland 84
Didn't respect the opponent enough to bring energy and focus from the opening tip. Been trying to dig out of that hole since the first quarter.
by Roy Wonder
Fourth Quarter: The Blazers suffer yet another lull, giving up more three pointers to Jodie Meeks, but kept the lead at 6. As the starters returned at the mid point, they gave up another three-point play to fall behind by 9. As the Blazers continued to miss, the Lakers hit another layup to lead by 11.
The crowd groans increased with every missed three pointer, layup, and lack of offensive rebounds. Every time the Blazers attempted a run, they fell apart defensively and the Lakers scored. They finally pushed within 5, as Batum made a careless pass for a turnover. But Matthews stole the ball on the break, to pass to a wide open Batum for three at the other end. Swish. The Lakers called timeout, with their lead down to 2.
The Lakers had an answer out of the timeout, taking the lead to 4 on free throws. A Batum tip-in made it 2 again with two minutes left, but the Blazers blew two chances to tie the game, but Matthews tied it with a fadeaway at the 1:10 mark. After a Laker (open shot) miss, Lillard was fouled on the drive. He hit one, but missed the second... and got his own rebound! The Blazers took control with a 1 point lead and 30 seconds left. But another poor possession led to a Laker fast break... the ball went out of bounds with 7 seconds, and the refs went to replay. Close call, and they gave it to the Lakers, to set up one last shot while down one. They lobbed it inbound for an immediate layup, off more poor Portland defense. Now down one, the Blazers have one shot with 6 seconds left. They went to Lillard, who took a terrible shot on a poor possession and it missed badly, for a terrible loss.
A day off for the Blazers, then the Atlanta Hawks come to town Wednesday night. Let's hope the Blazers care more about that one.
Later tonight, stay tuned for Dave's analysis of this one (should be extra interesting) and Ben's Media Row Report.
Gameday Thread Comments of the Night:
Thanks to everyone who participated in tonight's Gameday Thread! As always, here are the most popular comments, based on the number of Rec's from their fellow fans: