Winning in the Rose Garden has never been easy for the Lake Show. Winning twice in the same season seems damn near impossible. Let’s just hope that doesn’t apply should these two meet again in the playoffs.
Don’t let the 93-86 final score fool you. The only time the Lakers decided to clock in tonight was near the end of every quarter. In the first half Kobe killed it by dropping 4 threes to close the second quarter. He helped get the Lakers to within six of Portland at the intermission.
Then the third quarter came and again the Lakers waited until it was far too late to make their move. In a blink the Blazers took a 24 point lead thanks to the Lakers being completely out of sync on defense and clueless on offense…again.
LaMarcus Aldridge was constantly catching lobs as Pau Gasol and every other man in purple seemed to forget about Portland’s MVP. Aside from LA doing L.A. dirty, there were constant breakdowns on defensive rotations as Portland used the third quarter for a shoot around.
The first seven minutes of the second half were unwatchable.
Los Angeles only had three points mid-way through the quarter. But like clockwork they got it together late and cut the lead in half going into the final frame.
At this point you already know how the fourth quarter went.
There really aren’t any positives to take away from this one. KB24 collected another tech putting him one step closer to missing one of the final games of the regular season. Andrew Bynum was straight invisible. Drew fouled out with his worst effort of the year. Bynum had as many fouls as he did points and turnovers combined. And Pau was a no show.
The only man that can feel good about his game check is Lamar Odom. The NBA’s best sixth man doubled his pleasure again with 13 and 14.
Overall the Lakers won the season series against Portland. Tonight could have been sweet as a win would have been the rare Portland sweep, the first in over 20 years. As stated at the top, winning in Rip City is never easy but the last thing you want is for the Blazers to feel confident should we see another meeting in the playoffs. Gerald Wallace has brought some of that Laker hating swagger over from Charlotte.
What’s worse is that while the losing streak continues for the Lakers, the Mavs put theirs to an end against the Clippers. So much for locking down second in the West. That race is still very much alive.
There is still plenty to play for.
But how else could this regular season end for the Lakers? It’s been nothing but drama all year long so it’s only natural that we get a heavy dose of it in the final act.