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The Portland Trail Blazers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 107-105 home win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. Anfernee Simons led the way with 29 points as Portland improved to 22-34.
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Anfernee Simons on FIRE from deep 🔥 pic.twitter.com/DqrMg0gJvA
The win also ended a five-game home losing streak for the Blazers. It was rematch for Portland, which lost to Los Angeles less than a week ago on Feb. 2.
The Lakers fell to 26-30 after their fifth straight loss on the road and their sixth loss in their last eight games. LeBron James led the team with 30 points.
Los Angeles point guard Russell Westbrook missed his first game of the year as he was a late scratch due to a strain in his lower back.
G Anfernee Simons, POR: 29 points (25 in 2nd half)
C Jusuf Nurkic, POR: 19 points, 12 rebounds
F LeBron James, LAL: 30 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists
To Anthony Davis, LAL: 17 points, 5 blocks
Shorthanded Blazers hit back with fiery second-half effort
After shooting 1 of 13 from three-point range in the first two quarters, things looked bleak for Portland. But the Blazers woke up after halftime and gave up to secure a victory over a veteran Lakers team.
Simons had 15 points in the third quarter to help erase a seven-point halftime deficit and turn it into a two-point deficit going into the fourth. Once the match returned to range, the Blazers took advantage of errors to shoot in front.
Portland took the lead in the fourth quarter relying on their youthful energy, scoring 14 quick break points in the final frame. The Blazers connected on five three-pointers to respond to each Lakers run.
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Quite simply, the young Blazers outplayed their opponents. Portland turned 21 Los Angeles turnovers into 28 points. The Blazers had 28 quick break points against the Lakers’ four. They also beat Los Angeles in the paint 58-40.
After tearing down their roster with trades this week, Portland are a rebuilding team that are obviously preparing for the future. Nonetheless, Wednesday’s win showed the Blazers have the right spirit to take on anyone.
Lakers’ power shot obliterated by sloppy turnovers and weak defense
Los Angeles had a tough night of shooting from beyond the arc on Tuesday against the Bucks, connecting on just 10 of their 32 three-point attempts (31.8%). But the Lakers didn’t let that deter them and they came out shooting Wednesday.
Led by Talen Horton-Tucker off the bench, Los Angeles sank nine triples in the second quarter and 11 of 20 in the first half. Horton-Tucker scored 11 of his 14 points in the second period.
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I lost it for a second 😂 pic.twitter.com/2QWWaeYBxV
Mike Trudel @LakersReporter
Best half time shooting @Thortontucker for a while, as it is now 3 for 4 of 3 after a pair of triples.
LAL leads 48-39.
But the team’s strong shot was in vain as the Lakers played a sloppy game otherwise and allowed a shorthanded Blazers team to trail through reckless turnovers. Los Angeles had 10 gifts in the first half alone and followed with 11 in the second half.
The Lakers have struggled on defense all year, but Wednesday’s uninspired effort must be disheartening. Los Angeles was shoved inside and allowed Portland to score 58 points in the paint.
A loss to a young, rebuilding Portland team was another example of the Lakers’ shortcomings this season. Even when the team finished with 17 three-point shots, the Lakers failed to keep up with the teams that passed them.
Changes need to be made if the Lakers are to compete for an NBA title this season. At this point, Los Angeles looks more like a team that will be vying for a spot in the qualifying tournament.
The Blazers will enjoy a few days off before hosting the New York Knicks on Saturday in the final game of a five-game homestand. The Lakers will return to action the same day in a road tilt against the Golden State Warriors.