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Final: Blazers Drain the Lakers, 124-112

The Portland Trail Blazers played the classic "let anyone but Nick Young beat you" strategy against the Los Angeles Lakers, leading to a relatively easy victory, their 49th of the season.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Blazers were led by great games from Damian Lillard (34 points, 8 assists, 3 steals) and LaMarcus Aldridge (31 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks), with support from Nicolas Batum (16 points, 7 assists) and Robin Lopez (10 points, 10 rebounds).

Meyers Leonard was ejected after less than two minutes of playing time, due to a flagrant 2 foul in the final seconds.

Box Score

First Half: The Blazers had some trouble keeping the Lakers down. Portland jumped out to an early 8 point lead, but Steve Nash returned and promptly carved up the Blazer D, putting the Lakers ahead. And as Nash left with an ankle injury, Nick Young picked up a slack, hitting an insane 8-9 for 24 points in the first half. Despite this, the Blazers stayed close, mostly because they were getting inside, and making their free throws from the resultant fouls. The Lakers hit yet another three-pointer (while shooting over 50% from the field) to tie the game just before halftime, but a buzzer-beating tip in kept Portland ahead.

Portland 63, Los Angeles 61

Second Half: Aldridge took over early, pushing the Blazer lead to 11, but Young and Nash returned to help the Lakers close the gap. The Blazers bench came in and, surprisingly, expanded the lead to 14 with some opportunistic play. Unfortunately, they gave it all back in 45 seconds, taking an 8 point lead into the fourth quarter. In the fourth, Young hit yet another three-pointer to pull within single digits -- and Lillard responded with two consecutive deep three-pointers, leaving the Lakers shuffling to their bench for a timeout. Young hit consecutive shots to cut the Blazer lead to 9, but Portland picked up the defense, pushing the lead to 17 at the halfway point. With Nash done for the night, and Young unable to hit every single shot, the Lakers had nothing left in the tank, and Aldridge and Lillard helped Portland calmly finished them off, like a good playoff team should.

What's Next:

The Blazers head back to Portland and get two full days of recovery before their next game, Friday night against the Suns. In the meantime, stay tuned for Dave's extended analysis of tonight's game.

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:

# Recs Commenter Comment Link
9 RipCityLifer! Look, I don't want to take too much credit, but this current win streak coincides with my wife and I switching sides on the couch.
9 tblazers127 Go Blazers!
8 williamswonder Go Your Portland Trail Blazers!!!!
8 KingWes Go Trail Blazers!!
8 KingLamarcus Go Portland Trail Blazers!!!
7 colbymac Too good!
6 KingWes Wanna hear a joke!?
6 DerpDurp Go Your Portland Trail Blazers, sponsored by Wells Fargo!!!!!
5 KingLamarcus BEAT LA
5 KingWes Go Trail Blazers!!
5 bustabucket BEAT LA
5 KingLamarcus We rawk, Los Angeles does nawt!
5 KingLamarcus Go Portland Trail Blazers!!!
5 KingWes BEAT LA
5 bustabucket Say something funny next time and it's an easy rec!
5 tblazers127 BEAT LA
5 bustabucket Go Blazers!
5 Reasonable Approximation BEAT LA
5 KingWes BEAT LA
5 Mantre7179 BEAT LA
4 Timmay! Barton sometimes surpasses Mo on the No no no no YES scale.
4 BlazerRoddy So deep! So deep! Put the net to sleep.
4 WillBartonMVP He does.
4 the new Bradfather so proud of Lillard as I have heretofore said
3 thankyouforblaze Let's keep this train rolling with a double-digit win tonight against the Fakers!
3 KingWes That would be cool, given the game is in LA
3 conspirator5 BEAT LA
3 occassia No no. Temporary aberration.
3 Timmay! Wow that ball was indeed past its apex
3 occassia He's Damianating
3 bustabucket Feeling very rec-y today!
3 occassia No comment, but...
3 WillBartonMVP how to see if your comment is rec'd?