After playing one quarter of solid basketball, the Blazers produce three quarters of head-scratching play, but it led to a memorable finish. Damian Lillard hit the game-winner in the closing seconds to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 113-110
⏰⏰⏰ LILLARD FOR THE WIN ⏰⏰⏰ pic.twitter.com/WrhhtadlNO— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) November 3, 2017
The Blazers were led by Damian Lillard with 32 points, Jusuf Nurkic with 28 points and CJ McCollum with 22 points.
Once again wearing the wrong uniforms at home, the Blazers came out at least playing like the home team. CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic got the Blazers off to an early ten point lead with Noah Vonleh providing some solid interior defense, getting the start over the injured Al-Farouq Aminu. The Blazers ended the first quarter with a barrage of threes by McCollum and Pat Connaughton to take a 16-point lead after 12 minutes of play.
The Lakers were being kept on life support by Kyle Kuzma and a Blazers offense that went from scintillating to frustrating. The Moda Center entered the Upside Down World in the second quarter as play on both ends of the floor completely flipped; Portland all but giving up an 18-point lead. Nurkic and the Lakers’ Brook Lopez played battle of the big men down low, but it was Nurkic who provided just a bit more to give the Blazers a slim halftime lead of four.
Pat ain't the only one throwing heat pic.twitter.com/vVpQB4NCFL— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) November 3, 2017
Halftime: Portland 66, LA Lakers 62
Portland’s lead evaporated completely in the third, its offense simply sputtering against the Lakers’ vaunted.....um....defense. The Blazers’ offense resembled a pick-up game with five guys who had never met before, only with worse chemistry. To make matters worse, the Blazers committed their fifth foul with well over seven minutes in the third. Despite all of this, the Blazers held a lead of two after three quarters.
The fourth quarter was like watching two drunk guys brawl in the street, each team throwing one wild punch after the other. Good basketball? No. Fun? If you like that sort of thing.
But, it was all Lillard, McCollum and Nurkic late in the fourth, the big three gave the Lakers all they could handle. After Nurkic gave the Blazers a three point lead, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope tied the game at 110-110 with ten seconds remaining.
And then.......it was Lillard Time. Lillard launched a three to give the Blazers the lead with just 00.7 seconds remaining. Kuzma had an opportunity to tie at the end, but his shot bounced off the front of the rim and the Blazers win.
Portland’s stretch of home games doesn’t get any easier with the Oklahoma City Thunder up next on Sunday evening. Tip off is scheduled at 6 pm. Stay tuned to Blazer's Edge tonight, for extended analysis of this game.