The Lakers, in a position to put some distance between themselves and their pursuers in the NBA's Pacific Division, will be seeking their 10th straight win this afternoon against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Lakers blew out the Trail Blazers, 142-115, in their first meeting in November, part of their season-opening eight-game winning streak. But the Trail Blazers turned that around with a 117-104 victory at the Forum Dec. 2, the Lakers' most one-sided loss at home this season.
In that game, the Trail Blazers out-rebounded the Lakers, 53-37, the Lakers' poorest showing on the boards this season. Jerome Kersey, starting since Kiki Vandeweghe was in and out of the lineup with back problems, had 32 points and 14 rebounds, while Clyde Drexler had 28 points and 14 rebounds.
Since that game, however, the Lakers outrebounded their next dozen opponents, a streak that ended in their 131-115 win over Philadelphia Tuesday night. The Lakers won two of three games in Portland last season, including a 140-104 rout on New Year's night a year ago, matching their biggest victory ever over the Trail Blazers.