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Recap: Lakers lose to Trail Blazers in Game 1 of playoff series

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Lakers forward LeBron James lies on the court after committing a foul during the second half.
Lakers forward LeBron James lies on the court after committing a foul during the second half of the Lakers’ 100-93 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

The top-seeded Lakers lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 100-93 in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal playoff series on Tuesday.

Trail Blazers upset Lakers with late barrage

Lakers guard Alex Caruso falls to the court defending Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony.
Lakers guard Alex Caruso falls to the court defending Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony during the second half of the Lakers’ loss Tuesday.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Damian Lillard, Carmelo Anthony and Gary Trent Jr. knocked down three-pointers in the final two minutes and center Jusuf Nurkic got loose down the lane for a dunk to lead the Trail Blazers to a 100-93 victory over the Lakers in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series Tuesday night.

The Lakers became the second top-seeded team to fall Tuesday after the Orlando Magic stunned the Milwaukee Bucks in an Eastern Conference opener.

Lillard made long-range shots from 30 and 36 feet during the late Trail Blazers run and finished with a game-high 34 points. He made six of 13 three-pointers in the game. Nurkic had 16 points and 15 rebounds, including 10 of each in the first quarter.

LeBron James led the Lakers with 23 points, 17 rebounds and a playoff career-high 16 assists. Anthony Davis had a team-high 28 points and 11 rebounds.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Lakers highlights.

But when the game hung in the balance, both James and Davis missed a pair of free throws.

Neither team shot particularly well until the Trail Blazers’ late burst. The Lakers shot 35% (34 of 97) from the field and a woeful 15.6% (5 of 32) from deep. They also missed 11 of 31 free throws. Kyle Kuzma (14 points) and Danny Green (10 points) were the only other Lakers in double figures.

Portland made 39.2% (31 of 79) of hits shots from the field and 38.2% (13 of 34) from three-point range. They also had the advantage at the line, missing only eight of 33 free throws. CJ McCollum contributed 21 points while Anthony had 11 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Thursday at 6 p.m. PDT.

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Lakers-Trail Blazers tied late in fourth quarter

Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma celebrates during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Damian Lillard helped Portland forge an 89-87 lead with four minutes left, but Danny Green took advantage of a turnover for a layup the evened the score with with 3:50 left.

Green now has 10 points.

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Lakers take 84-78 lead early in fourth quarter

Lakers forward Anthony Davis dunks over Portland Trail Blazers forward Mario Hezonja during the second half.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Kyle Kuzma continues to shine in the fourth quarter. His layup with 8:03 left give the Lakers an 84-78 lead.

He made a pair of free throws before LeBron James scored on a driving layup to give the Lakers the six-point lead.

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Kyle Kuzma announces himself; Lakers tie score

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum passes between Lakers forward LeBron James, left, and forward Kyle Kuzma.
Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum passes between Lakers forward LeBron James, left, and forward Kyle Kuzma during the first half.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Reserve forward Kyle Kuzma, who will play a pivotal role in the playoffs, made a three-pointer 90 seconds into the fourth quarter to tie the score at 78-all.

He is four-of-nine shooting from the field, including one of two from long range. Kuzma has 10 points.

The Trail Blazers appeared to reclaim the lead on a Hassan Whiteside layup and blocking foul on LeBron James, but a challenge is successful and the charge wipe out the bucket.

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Trail Blazers lead by three points heading into fourth quarter

Lakers forward Anthony Davis and Portland Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside battle for possession.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Some nice passes, including an Anthony Davis assist to LeBron James on a give-and-go play, closed the third quarter for the Lakers and Trail Blazers, with Portland clinging to a 78-75 lead.

Markieff Morris came up with a big basket off James’ 14th assist, making a driving layup late in the quarter while absorbing contact at the rim. He missed the free throw, though.

Davis leads all scorers with 26 points. He also has 10 rebounds.

James has a triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists.

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Lakers trail by five points, 74-69, late in third quarter

The sometime ragged and uneven play has continued through the third quarter, but the Lakers have stayed within striking distance of the Trail Blazers.

The Lakers trail 74-69 with 2:39 left until the final quarter. They are only shooting 34.3% (24 of 70) from the field and a woeful 15% (3 of 20) from three-point range.

They have gotten to the free-throw line, particularly Anthony Davis, and have made 18 of 24 free throws.

Portland is shooting 36.8% (21 of 57) from the field and 29.2% (7 of 24) from long range. The Trail Blazers have converted 25 of their 33 free throws.

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Lakers trail by three points midway through third quarter

Lakers center JaVale McGee, right, and Portland Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside battle under the basket.
Lakers center JaVale McGee, right, and Portland Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside (21) battle under the basket during the second half.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Danny Green knocked down a three-pointer and Anthony Davis threw down a dunk, both baskets coming off LeBron James passes, to draw the Lakers to within 68-65 with 6:02 left in the third quarter.

CJ McCollum has scored seven points in the quarter to help the Trail Blazers maintain a lead. He has 12 points in the game now. Portland’s Damian Lillard leads all scorers with 25 points.

Davis has 24 points and nine rebounds. LeBron James has a triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists.

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Uneven start to second half

Lakers forward LeBron James is defended by Portland's Carmelo Anthony during the third quarter.
(Mike Ehrmann / Associated Press)

The Lakers and Trail Blazers traded missed shots and fouls early in the second half.

Anthony Davis made the second of two free throws to close the Lakers’ deficit to 62-58 with 9:17 left in the third quarter.

Davis has made 12 of 15 free throws and has a team-high 22 points.

The two teams have combined to shoot 34% from the field in the game.

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Lakers trail by one point at halftime

The Lakers chipped away in the second quarter to eventually claim a lead, although the Trail Blazers traded baskets the rest of the way to hold a 57-56 halftime lead in the first-round playoff series opener.

Anthony Davis scored 11 consecutive points to help the Lakers claim a 50-49 lead late in the second quarter, their first of the game. Davis has a team-high 21 points by making 11 of 13 free throws. He is only five-of-15 shooting from the field.

LeBron James has 12 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

Portland’s Damian Lillard, who scored 11 straight points in the first quarter, has a game-high 23 points. Jusuf Nurkic has 13 points and 12 rebounds.

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Lakers take their first lead late in second quarter

Lakers forward Anthony Davis dunks over Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic and guard CJ McCollum.
Lakers forward Anthony Davis dunks over Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) and guard CJ McCollum (3) during the first half.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

The Lakers aren’t shooting well, but Anthony Davis is getting to the free-throw line helping his team take a 50-49 lead with 3:07 left in the second quarter.

Davis has made nine of his 11 free throws, and when LeBron James found him in transition for a layup, it was the Lakers’ first lead of the game.

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Dwight Howard damages rim; quick fix made

Lakers center Dwight Howard reacts after a slam dunk during the first half.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Anthony Davis went to the free-throw line with 5:56 left in the second quarter. After making his first shot he noticed the rim was askew.

Video replays showed it happened when Dwight Howard tried to put-back a missed shot and hung on the rim.

After a couple of minutes, the rim was fixed and Davis missed the second free throw as the Lakers trailed 46-41.

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Lakers go on 13-1 run to cut deficit to 40-38

Lakers forward LeBron James tries to drive on the Portland Trail Blazers during the first half.
(Mike Ehrmann / Associated Press)

After trading scores to start the second quarter, LeBron James drew the Lakers to within 39-30 with 9:55 left in the second quarter with a spinning layup on a drive down the middle of the lane.

James, who now has 10 points, then found Danny Green for a corner three-pointer and Markieff Morris for a long-range shot from the wing. to make it a three-point game.

The Trail Blazers were forced to call a timeout with 8:28 left after Dwight Howard scored on a dunk off James’ sixth assist of the game.

After the timeout, Howard then commits his third foul and but does not head to the bench.

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Trail Blazers lead 36-25 after first quarter

Portland's Damian Lillard scores on a layup against the Lakers in the first half.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

The Trail Blazers rode the hot hand of Damian Lillard to a double-digit lead as he scored 11 straight points for them, then Portland increased the lead to 33-17 after a breakaway layup by center Jusuf Nurkic with two minutes left in the quarter.

Back-to-back scores by Alex Caruso and LeBron James cut the Lakers’ deficit to 33-21. The Lakers went on an 8-3 run to cut their deficit to 36-25 at the end of the first quarter.

Lillard has 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field while Nurkic has 10 points and 10 rebounds. Lillard has made all three of his long-range shots.

The Lakers had made only 9 of 30 shots from the field and have missed all eight of their three-point shots.

Anthony Davis leads the team with nine points, making all seven of his free throws but going one of eight from the field.

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LeBron finally gets more involved; Lillard gets hot

Lakers forward LeBron James walks onto the court before Tuesday's game against the Trail Blazers.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

LeBron James missed two shots early in the game and watched his Lakers teammates put up a vast majority of the shots from there. But after the Trail Blazers opened a 20-11 lead with 5 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter, James drove from the top of the three-point circle down the lane for a layup while absorbing contact and drawing a foul. He missed the free throw, though.

Anthony Davis and Danny Green were a combined 2 of 13 shooting from the field.

Portland continues to score, though, and takes a 26-15 lead with 3:30 left in the opening quarter. Damian Lillard now has 10 points for the Trail Blazers on three-of-four shooting with one three-pointer.

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Lakers tie score before Trail Blazers reopen lead

JaVale McGree tipped in a missed shot and Anthony Davis scored on an old-fashioned three-point play to tie the score, 7-7.

The Trail Blazers scored six quick points, though, to claim a 13-7 advantage with 7:20 left in the first quarter. Portland’s five starters, including reserve Wenyen Gabriel who is starting for injured Zach Collins, have all scored.

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Slow start for Lakers

Lakers star LeBron James, right, drives on Portland's Carmelo Anthony during Tuesday's game.
(Mike Ehrmann / Associated Press)

The Lakers won the tip and Anthony Davis took the first shot, a baseline fadeway jumper that missed.

Portland answered withe Wenyen Gabriel scoring on its first possession. After a Danny Green missed three-pointer, Jusuf Nurcic made a three-pointer.

After Carmelo Anthony made a jumper, the Trail Blazers led 7-2 early.

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Signature move

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Getting close to tipoff

The Houston Rockets have finished off the Oklahoma City Thunder, 123-108, in their series opener, clearing the way for the Lakers-Trail Blazers game to begin and eventually conclude the NBA’s quadrupleheader today.

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When an NBA dad’s love for his family comes bubble-wrapped

LeBron James hold his daughter, Zhuri, during a news conference at New York Fashion Week in 2018.
LeBron James hold his daughter, Zhuri, during a news conference at New York Fashion Week in 2018. “You have that miss factor when you miss your family, you miss your kids,” James says of life in the Florida bubble.
(Steven Vlasic / Getty Images)

ORLANDO, Fla. — The other day, Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope woke up in his hotel room and had a thought he never expected.

He missed the racket his sons make at 7:30 a.m. in their playroom while he and his wife are trying to sleep. He missed the sound of them blasting the television way too early in the morning, playing upstairs, and even the sound of them crying or yelling at each other as brothers of that age — his oldest is 8 — tend to do. He hadn’t heard that sound in five weeks.

“I just miss the noise,” Caldwell-Pope said before a game last week. “It was good just to get away from the noise, but then I’m kind of missing it. I didn’t think I would say I miss my kids making all type of noise.”

Caldwell-Pope has three sons — Kenzo is 8, Kentavious Jr. is 3 and Kendrix is the baby at 1. During the hiatus, he would help Kenzo participate in remote schooling; help complete multiplication homework from the desk in the playroom.

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Anthony Davis knows Lakers can’t underestimate ‘hot’ Trail Blazers

Lakers forward Anthony Davis controls the ball during a game.
Lakers forward Anthony Davis controls the ball during a game against the Denver Nuggets on Aug. 10.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

ORLANDO, Fla. — Back when he was a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, Anthony Davis made the playoffs twice and advanced past the first round just once. His team was always the underdog. In 2018 they shocked the league by sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers, a six seed sweeping a three seed, in the first round.

Now Davis will face Portland again, only this time his team isn’t even close to being the underdog. That comes with pressure. A pressure that’s more acute here in the bubble as the Lakers face the league’s hottest team.

“They were playing well,” Davis said. “They’ve been playing extremely well. They did everything in their power to make the playoffs. They’re a good team. They’re hot right now. It’s definitely going to be a test for us but a good test. We’re going to be ready to go out there and compete.”

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Facing the media, kind of

Lakers coach Frank Vogel takes questions from reporters before Game 1 of the playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

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Nurkic’s heart may be ready to burst, but because of him, Trail Blazers’ bubble won’t

Portland's Jusuf Nurkic gestures during a game.
Portland’s Jusuf Nurkic, who played Saturday after the death of his grandmother, had 22 points and 21 rebounds in a play-in game victory against Memphis.
(Kevin C. Cox / Associated Press)

Even though they would’ve had another chance had the Memphis Grizzlies won, this felt like an all-or-nothing afternoon for the Portland Trail Blazers, a team mentally winded from the pressure of the playoff race over the last two weeks.

A loss would’ve stolen the momentum gained in rallying into the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Damian Lillard had been the best player in the bubble, but it could have gone for naught if one deep three missed off the front rim instead of somehow going in, the millimeter difference between the chance the Trail Blazers have now and a season on the brink.

On Saturday, the Trail Blazers had to overcome all of that and so much more in a 126-122 win against the Grizzlies, an intensity-packed game that made the NBA’s addition of a playoff play-in series look like a stroke of genius.

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Lakers warming up for Game 1

Anthony Davis was warming up for the Lakers’ playoff series opener tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers with a possibly prescient sign in the background.

The Lakers said veteran point guard Rajon Rondo is not available tonight, but his return to play appears imminent.

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Left out of NBA’s bubble, Lionel Hollins created his own as he helps Lakers from home

Lakers assistant coach Lionel Hollins instructs players on the court.
Last month the NBA determined that Lionel Hollins, one of Lakers coach Frank Vogel’s top assistants, was not permitted to travel to Orlando for the NBA’s bubble for health reasons.
(Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Lakers have two cameras installed on their practice court in the NBA bubble. One of them films all of practice from a slightly elevated location for review by players and staff.

The other sits at eye level and is typically on a sideline. It’s an iPhone perched on a thin stand. The Lionel Cam. Coach Frank Vogel has talked into it as if the people on the other side are actually in the gym with him. Players wave as they run by it during drills. Once, Anthony Davis walked over and shut it off as a joke.

“The way our team is, they have a lot of fun and they mess with people,” Lionel Hollins said recently by phone.

Last month the NBA determined that Hollins, one of Vogel’s top assistants, was not permitted to travel to Orlando for health reasons. So for the past five weeks, Hollins has coached over texts and video conferences. His days, not filled with going to and from practice, are busy instead with coaching his son, negotiating with his granddaughter and watching film at the kitchen table.

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Lakers plan to wear Black Mamba jersey if they advance in playoffs

Lakers star Kobe Bryant watches a tribute video at Staples Center before the final game of his career on April 13, 2016.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

If the Lakers advance past the first round of the playoffs against the Portland Trail Blazers, they plan to wear the Black Mamba jersey in honor of Kobe Bryant during the following rounds, according to people who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The jersey was co-designed by Bryant and it features a snakeskin print on the outside with black interior and 16 stars on the side panels. The Lakers have won 16 NBA championships, and Bryant played on five of those title-winning teams.

Bryant wore jersey numbers 8 and 24 over his 20-year career with the Lakers.

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Lakers vs. Trail Blazers: How the teams match up for Game 1 tonight

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard reacts after making a three-pointer.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard reacts after making a three-pointer against the Dallas Mavericks on Aug. 11.
(Kim Klement / Associated Press)

ORLANDO, Fla. — A look at how the top-seeded Lakers and No. 8 Portland Trail Blazers match up for their first-round playoff series:

STARTERS

LAKERS | TRAIL BLAZERS

Player, Ht. | Pos. | Ht., Player

LeBron James, 6-9 | F | 6-8, Carmelo Anthony

Anthony Davis, 6-10 |F | 6-11, Zach Collins

JaVale McGee, 7-0 | C | 7-0, Jusuf Nurkic

Danny Green, 6-6 | G | 6-3, CJ McCollum

K. Caldwell-Pope, 6-5 | G | 6-2, Damian Lillard

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LeBron James says 2020 NBA playoffs will be ‘toughest championship run for me’

LeBron James shoots against the Toronto Raptors on Aug. 1.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

ORLANDO, Fla. — LeBron James smiled slightly at a question about the Portland Trail Blazers’ momentum coming into their first-round series with the Lakers.

James wasn’t amused at the query. He was just being distracted by teammate Anthony Davis standing directly in front of him, peering over the video screen James was facing.

“I’m not smiling at your question. Anthony is behind [it],” James explained, before answering. “When he does silly stuff I call him Anthony.”

Davis poked his head around the side, looking expectantly at James, who said he’d meet him in the meal room. Davis walked off as James’ demeanor turned solemn again.

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NBA playoff previews: Lakers get tough test in Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard shoots over Clippers forward Patrick Patterson.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard shoots over Clippers forward Patrick Patterson during a game on Aug. 8.
(Kim Klement / Associated Press)

A series-by-series look at the NBA playoff pairings, complete with predictions and schedules. The No. 1 seed Lakers will face a tough test in the No. 8 Trail Blazers.

WESTERN CONFERENCE
No. 1 LAKERS
52-19
OFF RTG 111.7, DEF RTG 106.1

No. 8 Portland
35-39
OFF RTG 113.2, DEF RTG 114.3

Season series: Lakers 2-1
Outlook: The Lakers’ reward for winning the West — no home-court advantage and a first-round series with red-hot Damian Lillard. The good news is that Portland’s defense has been quite a mess and the Lakers shouldn’t have problems scoring. The bad news? The Lakers have had trouble scoring in the bubble. In eight games since the restart, they have the third-least efficient offense to go with a slightly below-average defense. The bet here is that the playoffs will wake them up.
Prediction: Lakers in 6

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