NBA Basketball

93
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Portland 29 28 19 17 93
LA Lakers 24 30 31 17 102
102
7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET3:00 GMT11:00 8:00 PM MST10:00 PM EST7:00 UAE (+1)04:0022:00 ET9:00 PM CT2:00 , February 26, 2021
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

Trail Blazers visit Lakers, both looking to shake slump

According to STATS
According to STATS

Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Lakers

  1. Portland won the first meeting between these teams this season, 115-107, in Los Angeles. The Blazers are 12-1 at the Lakers since the start of the 2013-14 season, their best road record against any team and the Lakers worst home record against any team in that time.
  2. The Blazers have lost three straight games for the first time this season, including forcing an NBA record-low one turnover against Denver on Tuesday. The Blazers have forced eight turnovers over their last two games, the fewest by any team over a two-game span since the Clippers (also 8) in December 2005.
  3. Enes Kanter is averaging 12.8 rebounds per game in February, third-best in the NBA behind only Nikola Vucevic (13.1) and Clint Capela (13.0). He's on pace to match the best rebounding month of his career (12.8 per game in February 2018 and April 2014).
  4. The Lakers have lost four straight games for the first time since December 2019, including scoring a season-low 89 points in a loss to Utah on Wednesday. Los Angeles has been held under 100 points in three of their four games on the current losing streak after scoring less than 100 just three times in their first 29 games this season.
  5. LeBron James had 19 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists against Utah on Wednesday, the first time he's played at least 20 minutes and been held under 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in a game since March 29, 2004, as a rookie with Cleveland against San Antonio (18 pts, 2 reb, 4 ast).
  6. Portland has made an average of 16.2 threes per game this season, second-best in the NBA behind only the Jazz (17.0). The Lakers have allowed opponents to make just 11.7 threes per game this season, fourth fewest in the league.
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The Los Angeles Lakers are buried in their worst slump of the season as they enter Friday's matchup against the visiting Portland Trail Blazers.

The Lakers have dropped four straight games and five of six since Anthony Davis was lost to an Achilles injury. Los Angeles also has slipped to third in the Western Conference behind the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers.

In fact, the Lakers were no competition for the conference-leading Jazz on Wednesday as they trailed by as many as 29 points while being steamrolled 114-89 in Salt Lake City.

The beatdown occurred immediately after Los Angeles went winless on a three-game homestand.

"It's a tough stretch for us," LeBron James said after the setback in Utah. "You know this won't define who we will be for the rest of the season and for the long haul. That's for sure."

But it's not looking too good in the short term as the defending champions haven't adjusted well to playing without Davis.

Markieff Morris said lineup changes that affect the roles of multiple players often require time for things to fall in place.

"It's not supposed to click right away," Morris said. "It's supposed to take time. It's supposed to challenge us. It's supposed to feel like our back is against the wall, and everybody needs that. It will bring out your true self when you got to fight when your back is against the wall, when you lose a couple games. It will bring out your true self."

Los Angeles is expected to get guard Dennis Schroder back on Friday from a seven-day quarantine due to COVID-19 protocols. Schroder tested negative but was held out due to contact tracing.

Schroder, who averages 14.2 points, has missed the past four games.

Los Angeles could use his scoring punch after the season-low points total it put up against Utah.

James led the way with 19 points while Montrezl Harrell (16) and Morris (12) were the only other players to reach double digits.

Portland is experiencing its own issues with three straight losses following a season-best six-game winning streak.

The Trail Blazers lost 111-106 to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, one day after a season-worst 32-point loss to the Phoenix Suns.

The 132-100 loss to the Suns marked the sixth time Portland been routed by 20 or more points this season.

The rough patch is disappointing to All-Star Damian Lillard, who felt the club was hitting its stride while piling up the wins.

"It's frustrating just because we want to win games," Lillard said. "It's as high as you can get when you're having success. Sometimes you come out on the losing side. We were playing at a high level for a long stretch of games. It's not easy to sustain that level."

Lillard did his part in the loss to Denver with 25 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds. He has scored at least 20 points in 11 straight games and 20 of his past 21.

Carmelo Anthony matched his season best of 24 points and reached the 20-point mark for the sixth time this month.

The contest got away in the fourth quarter as Denver's Jamal Murray exploded to score 19 of his 24 points in the stanza while Portland was just 4-of-12 from 3-point range.

"We just didn't hit shots," Portland's Derrick Jones Jr. said after scoring a season-high 18 points. "We didn't hit shots that we usually hit. So, we just have to go back to the drawing board. Just watch the film and see what we did wrong. Just try to get better for the next game."

Lillard scored 31 points when the Trail Blazers recorded a 115-107 victory in Los Angeles on Dec. 28 for their 19th win in the past 23 meetings with the Lakers.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 26, 2021

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