When less than five minutes remained in the third quarter Sunday night, the Portland Trail Blazers began to drown the Lakers in three-pointers.
Suddenly an eight-point lead became 21 points, and the Lakers never recovered. Portland beat them, 97-81, at Staples Center to sweep the four-game season series.
Damian Lillard had 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Trail Blazers, and forward Noah Vonleh scored eight with a game-high 14 rebounds. D’Angelo Russell led the Lakers with 22 points and had two assists. Reserve point guard Tyler Ennis added 14 points, nine in the fourth quarter.
“When you’re committed to defense, you always give yourself a chance to...