The Portland Trail Blazers fought their way out to a seemingly insurmountable lead against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, leading by 25 points at the half, but were ultimately doomed 121-112 in their most disappointing loss of the season. This left players and reporters alike wondering what went wrong.
Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons was asked as much after the game and said that transition buckets played a large part, both in Portland’s lack and LA’s abundance.
You know, being out there in that position, it’s hard to – it kind of happened so fast it was, like, I was trying to replay it, like, what went wrong, in my head. Obviously, we couldn’t put the ball in the basket at the time. At least going back and forth in that moment. And our misses led to them getting out in transition, which is what they do best. They put the pressure on everybody and then, like I said, we missed a lot of shots during that time and they did what they do best in transition and scored baskets. I think the first half was different because we made them play in the halfcourt. So I think that’s what played in our favor, and then second half we didn’t make shots, and then they got out in transition and started scoring there.
The Lakers outscored the Trail Blazers 40-20 in the third quarter, erasing Portland’s lead. Their physical defensive play led to abounding transition opportunities that ultimately sealed the game down the stretch.
Portland now must bounce back against the San Antonio Spurs tonight at 7:00 to halt an all too familiar 3-game skid.