Nick Young goes for 40, Lakers still can’t beat Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers 124 - Lakers 112 (end of regulation)
A huge night from Nick Young wasn’t enough as the Lakers fell on Tuesday night to the Portland Trail Blazers, 124-112.
Young had the hot hand, scoring a season-high 40 points on 15-of-26 shooting, but the Lakers struggled defensively once again.
Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge were too much for the Lakers, scoring 34 points and 31 points, respectively.
The Lakers were about as healthy as they’ve been all season, with Pau Gasol returning from a bout of vertigo that knocked him out for over a week. Steve Nash (back) logged 22 minutes, hitting a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists in 22 minutes.
Xavier Henry (knee) even played 13 minutes, although he didn’t score.
Behind Young, the next-highest Laker was Kent Bazemore, with 17 points. Chris Kaman added 12, starting alongside Gasol for just the fourth time this season with the team losing three.
Kobe Bryant (knee) and Jordan Farmar (knee) were the only Lakers to miss the game due to injury, although Coach Mike D’Antoni chose not to play Jordan Hill, Wesley Johnson and MarShon Brooks.
Gasol had a quiet scoring night with just nine points while dishing seven assists. The Lakers shot 44.6% from the field and 44.0% from three-point range.
The Blazers also got double-digits from Nicolas Batum (16 points, along with seven assists), Robin Lopez (10 points and 10 rebounds) and Wesley Matthews (10 points with six assists). Aldridge had a game-high 15 rebounds.
Portland shot 46.5% from the field and 44.8% from behind the arc. Both teams combined to take 43 free throws, missing just five.
Meyers Leonard was ejected in the final minute, committing a flagrant 2 foul on Kendall Marshall.
The Lakers (25-49) travel to Sacramento to play the Kings (26-48) on Wednesday night. The Blazers (49-27) are off until Friday, hosting the Phoenix Suns (44-30).
Trail Blazers 91 - Lakers 83 (end of third quarter)
The Blazers took over in the third quarter, extending a lead to 12 before the Lakers closed the gap to eight.
LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard both scored 23 points. Nicolas Batum chipped in 16 points with five assists as Portland Shot 42.7% from the field, 40% from three-point range (8-20) and 90.5% from the line (90.5%).
The Lakers shot 43.7%, 50% (10-20) and 84.6% (11-13), respectively.
Nick Young led all scorers with 27 points off the bench, missing just five shots in 15 attempts. Pau Gasol, back from a bout with vertigo, scored just four points in 24 minutes.
Steve Nash was able to play in the third quarter, despite a first-half ankle sprain. He led the game with eight assists while adding 10 points on 16 1/2 minutes.
Kent Bazemore scored 13. Chris Kaman led the Lakers with six rebounds, along with 10 points.
Trail Blazers 63 - Lakers 61 (halftime)
The Lakers pulled ahead in the second quarter, overcoming an early nine-point deficit to go up by as many as seven.
However, Portland, led by Damian Lillard’s 18 points, was able to recover. Lillard earned half at free throw line in nine attempts.
Nick Young scored a quick 21 points in 15 minutes, hitting his first eight shots before finally missing.
Steve Nash gave the Lakers a boost, but left the game with an ankle sprain after scoring seven points with seven assists and four rebounds in just under 11 minutes.
The Lakers shot 52.2% from the field and 53.8% from three-point range, but still trailed Portland at halftime.
Portland shot 39.5% from the field but took 17 free throw attempts to the Lakers’ eight.
Trail Blazers 29 - Lakers 27 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers were almost fully healthy on Tuesday night, with Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Xavier Henry returning to the lineup.
The Blazers too an early nine-point lead, but the Lakers rallied to close within two points after the first quarter.
Kent Bazemore led the Lakers with eight points. Nash scored five points with four assists in eight minutes as the Lakers shot 47.6% from the field.
Portland was led by Nicolas Batum with eight points. Damian Lillard scored seven as the Blazers shot 34.6% from the field.
The Lakers (25-48) host the Portland Trail Blazers (48-27) on Tuesday night at Staples Center.
Portland has resurged, winning three straight after getting All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge in the lineup after a back injury.
Pau Gasol is expected to play after a bout of vertigo, starting alongside Chris Kaman. Steve Nash (nerve root irritation) and Xavier Henry (knee) are (somewhat) probable. Kobe Bryant (knee) and Jordan Farmar (groin) are out.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
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