Leading by as many as 23 points in the first half, the Blazers managed to fight off multiple Laker runs en route to a 107-77 win at Staples Center on Friday night. The Lakers (specifically Jordan Clarkson) got hot on multiple occasions, but the Trail Blazers (specifically CJ McCollum) weathered the storm, and ultimately were able to hold on for the win.
The Blazers looked fantastic on both ends of the court for the entirety of the first quarter. They were shooting lights out, and even better, they were forcing the Lakers into taking difficult shots. Over the last few games it’s been LaMarcus Aldridge with the hot hand out of the gates, but tonight it was Damian Lillard. Damian had a near-perfect quarter, scoring 14 points and grabbing three boards on 5-of-6 shooting. Portland held the Lakers to just twelve first quarter points, and led by 14 after one.
Early on in the second, it looked as if this one may well be wrapped up before the half. The Blazers offense was rolling, and the Portland lead reached as many as 23. Unfortunately, instead of continuing to extend the lead, the Trail Blazers let off the gas and allowed the Lakers to get back into it. The Blazers allowed the Lakers to score 27 in the period after holding them to just 12 in the first. LA ended the half on a 10-0 run and cut the lead to just 13 at the break.
Jordan Clarkson couldn’t miss in the third, and singlehandedly kept the Lakers within striking distance. Los Angeles got very close to cutting the lead to single digits, but Portland answered each time, and went into the final period with an 11-point lead.
The Blazers quickly put away the Lakers in the fourth, starting the quarter on a 23-2 run. In fact, the Lake Show had just two fourth quarter points with five minutes left in the game. The Portland starters got some valuable rest at the end of this one, and Tim Frazier made his debut for the Trail Blazers.
CJ McCollum led the way for the Blazers, scoring a career-high 27 points and grabbing six rebounds on 10-of-16 shooting. Damian Lillard finished with 20 points and five assists on 8-of-15 shooting for Portland.
With the win, the Trail Blazers are now 49-26 on the season, 19-18 on the road, and have clinched the Northwest Division title. Portland is fifth in the Western Conference, and just a half game back of the Clippers for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
- Shooting percentage: Portland 49% — LA 38%
- Three point percentage: Portland 39% — LA 36%
- Free throws: Portland 11-11 — LA 10-17
- Rebounds: Portland 53 — LA 43
- Assists: Portland 21 — LA 13
- Points in the paint: Portland 38 — LA 28
- Fastbreak points: Portland 11 — LA 11
- Bench points: Portland 39 — LA 21
- Portland allowed only 12 points in the first quarter, which is the fewest allowed by the Blazers in a first quarter this year, and tied for the fewest allowed in any quarter this year.
- Portland didn’t shoot a free throw until the 2:01 mark of the second quarter.
- CJ McCollum was the only Blazer off the bench to score in the first half.
- Portland hit eight of their first 12 threes, then missed 10 straight.
- Portland’s 30-point win at Staples Center is the largest win by the Blazers on the road against the Lakers in series history.
- The Blazers outscored the Lakers 59-26 in the first and fourth quarters, but were outscored 51-48 in the second and third.
The Blazers have a quick turnaround, as they will travel back home tonight to face the Pelicans at Moda Center tomorrow. This game has huge playoff implications for New Orleans, so look for a hard-fought, playoff style game from the Pelicans.