If you like moral victories, this was the game for you. Portland kept it close against the Lakers all night, but down the stretch, Los Angeles took care of business in a 128-120 win. LeBron James didn’t have a hot-shooting night, but made up for it with 16 assists. Damian Lillard scored 31 points, but shot 4-13 from three.
And in the process, the Blazers may have lost another player.
Skal goes down. Labissière left the game limping with a possible knee injury in the first quarter and never returned. It was the second straight game against the Lakers featuring a Blazers injury, after Rodney Hood tore his Achilles in the previous matchup.
Keeping it close. The Lakers tried to keep the Blazers at arm’s length for most of the night, but Portland brought more energy, causing fits for the calmer Lakers team.
Nobody likes the refs. A rough night for the officiating crew, as both the Lakers and Blazers seemed to feel they were biased against them. And they were arguably both right: In different stretches of the game, the refs gave significantly more foul calls to each team. By the end, everyone was unhappy.
A good night from Anfernee and Anthony. Tolliver swished his first four 3-pointers, bringing the crowd to their feet. And Simons brought his full moveset, working around the Lakers for some nice layups, including an and-1.
The Blazers get one more game at home this year, against the Suns on Monday. Then they’ll head to the east coast for a road trip in the new year.