LeBron James missed a buzzer-beater to tie the sport because the Los Angeles Lakers misplaced 106-104 to the Portland Path Blazers, taking the LA group’s season file to 0-3.
It was one other evening to neglect for Russell Westbrook, who adopted up on his two-point haul towards the LA Clippers on Thursday with 10 factors and two missed photographs within the final seconds of Sunday’s recreation.
Each missed factors had been instantly punished by a superb Damian Lillard, whose three-pointers took the sport away from the Lakers.
James, who ended the evening with 31 factors, eight assists, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks refused to criticize his teammate.
“I’m not up right here to do this,” James stated after the sport. “[Westbrook] obtained some attractiveness and wasn’t in a position to knock them down. Defensively, we couldn’t get a number of stops in a row.”
After going up 10-2, the Lakers shortly surrendered management of the sport, ending the primary quarter behind by eight factors.
Regardless of a powerful defensive displaying, the Lakers had been impotent from outdoors the paint, ending the primary half with 1-16 from three-point vary and down 55-48.
They pulled it again within the third quarter to go up 78-83 due to Anthony Davis who dominated the paint, scoring 10 factors.
However the Lakers couldn’t hold a maintain of their lead. Within the remaining 5 minutes the Path Blazers erased an eight-point hole to come back out on high with Lillard, who dropped a recreation excessive 41 factors, punishing each Lakers mistake to attain 12 within the remaining quarter.
After his step-back three-pointer put the Path Blazers up by two, James responded with a straightforward dunk. However he was instantly crushed by Jerami Grant, who turned James and beat Davis together with his lay-up to place the Path Blazers 104-106.
James tried a step-back of his personal, however with Lillard blocking effectively, he missed the decisive two-pointer.
Regardless of the irritating end result, James had one other record-breaking evening as he tied Karl Malone for probably the most 20-point video games within the NBA at 1,134.
However the evening was all about Lillard, who put up consecutive 41-point video games and prolonged the Path Blazers’ profitable begin to three video games.
Lillard is averaging 34 factors, making 47.1% of his photographs and 36.4% from three-point vary.
“Clearly, Dame is again and he’s just about placing the league on discover,” stated Portland coach Chauncey Billups after the match. “Dame was Dame down the stretch.”
Regardless of shedding, the sport confirmed an improved efficiency from the Lakers who’re making an attempt to neglect the woes of final season during which they didn’t make playoffs.
Davis was almost unstoppable within the paint, James was breaking extra information and their protection was the most effective it has been in a very long time.
It’s outdoors the paint the place they’re let down, and Westbrook isn’t the one one failing from vary. From three video games, the group is averaging 21.2% from three-point vary and hit solely six from 33 makes an attempt towards the Path Blazers.
The Lakers’ powerful begin to the season continues as they journey to Denver to tackle the Nuggets who beat the Warriors and appear to be among the best groups within the West.