On a night the organization celebrated the 40th anniversary of its lone championship, the Blazers beat the LA Lakers 105-98.
The Blazers were led by Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum with 24 points each. Mason Plumlee had 19 points and 13 rebounds. The Lakers were led by Louis Williams with 31 points.
CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard anchored the offense for Portland in the first quarter, both scoring in double digits. After Lou Williams converted a 4-point play for the Lakers, the Blazers went cold and careless, allowing LA to go on a 15-6 run to take the lead heading into the second quarter.
Pat Connaughton played some solid minutes and led a Blazers revival that would give Portland a lead of six early in the second.
Pat nails a 3-pointer in transition and the fans go wild! pic.twitter.com/AEZYEBa6Kk— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 26, 2017
The Blazers were unable to get anything going from beyond the arc, so both teams traded one dull punch after another until the halftime buzzer mercifully sounded. CJ McCollum had 16 points for the Blazers and Williams had 16 off the bench for the Lakers. The Blazers’ bench had 11 points total. One wonders why the Lakers don’t flip their bench and starters.
Halftime: Portland 59, LA Lakers 58
Out of the gate, Portland sprinted off to a 12 point lead, with the defense translating to easy buckets for the Blazers. Mason Plumlee showed the most spirit of ‘77, filling up the stat sheet quite nicely on both ends of the court. But, perhaps the highlight of the quarter was this:
The Lakers carved into the lead heading into the fourth quarter when they got decidedly drunk on threes. Lou Williams went off again for LA, hitting back-to-back triples, cutting the lead to just three. Nick Young, yes that Nick Young, also hit back-to-back long distance shots to give the Lakers the lead.
It was McCollum to the rescue, hitting consecutive shots to give the Blazers a lead of five.
With just under a minute to go, Lillard hit a short leaner to give Portland a cushion of seven. The Lakers couldn’t mount a comeback after that, and the Blazers hang on to win.
The Blazers continue their home stand on Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. Tip off is at 7 PM. Stay tuned to Blazer's Edge tonight, for extended analysis of this game from Dave Deckard.