Preview: Lakers bring five-game losing streak to Portland

Kobe Bryant, Damian Lillard

Kobe Bryant takes a shot over Portland’s Damian Lillard in a game in November.

(Steve Dykes / Getty Images)

The Lakers (9-36) visit the Portland Trail Blazers (19-26) for a 7:30 p.m. game Saturday night at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore.

After losing to the San Antonio Spurs, 108-95, on Friday, the Lakers will play their second game in as many days, hoping to break a five-game losing streak.

The Trail Blazers are still within reach of the eighth-place Sacramento Kings (19-23) in the Western Conference standings.


Lakers rookie Larry Nance Jr. has sat out recent games because of a sore knee. Portland, meanwhile is at full strength.

Key matchup

Portland point guard Damian Lillard is one the NBA’s top scorers, averaging 24.3 points a game while shooting 41.5% from the field.

Lillard is also strong playmaker, averaging 7.0 assists a game.


It’s his outside shooting that always seems to burn the Lakers. So far this season, Lillard is shooting 37.3% from behind the three-point arc.

The Lakers will match up with Jordan Clarkson against Lillard, although Lou Williams and D’Angelo Russell might draw the assignment as well during the game.


Guard C.J. McCollum has also emerged as a big-time scorer for the Trail Balzers, averaging 20.7 points a game.

In addition to McCollum’s 39.2% shooting from three-point range, the Blazers also have swingmen Allen Crabbe (39.3%) and Gerald Henderson (38.1%) shooting well from long distance.

Portland forwards Al-Farouq Aminu (35.3%) and Meyers Leonard (34.9%) are also outside threats.

The Lakers’ best regular three-point shooter is Williams (33.3%), who is actually matched by Nance (albeit with a low volume of attempts).  Russell is shooting 32.4% from long range, Clarkson 31.7% and Kobe Bryant just 25%.


Nick Young (35.4%) and Metta World Peace (37%) have not played a part recently in the team’s regular rotation.


The Lakers rarely seem to win in Portland and are less likely to do so on the second night of back-to-back games.

Email Eric Pincus at and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

Get our weekly Lakers newsletter