LeBron James missed a game-tying buzzer beater as the Los Angeles Lakers lost 106-104 to the Portland Trail Blazers, dropping the LA team’s season record to 0-3.
It was another night to forget for Russell Westbrook, who followed up his two-point shutout against the LA Clippers on Thursday with 10 points and two missed shots in the final seconds. Sunday’s game
The two missed points were immediately punished by a superb Damian Lillard, the three took the game away from the Lakers.
James, who finished the night with 31 points, eight assists, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks, refused to criticize his teammate.
“I’m not here for that,” James said after the game. “[Westbrook] he looked good and couldn’t take them down. In defense we couldn’t make multiple stops in a row.”
After going up 10-2, the Lakers quickly relinquished control of the game and ended the first quarter with an eight-point lead.
Despite a strong defensive showing, the Lakers were ineffective from outside the paint, finishing the first half 1-16 from three-point range and trailing 55-48.
They came back in the third quarter to go up 78-83, thanks to Anthony Davis who dominated the paint, scoring 10 points.
But the Lakers could not hold the lead. The Trail Blazers erased an eight-point lead in the final five minutes with Lillard dropping a game-high 41 points, punishing all of the Lakers’ mistakes by scoring 12 in the final quarter.
After his step-up three put the Trail Blazers up by two, James responded with an easy layup. But he was quickly beaten by Jerami Grant, who turned around James and beat Davis for a layup to put the Trail Blazers up 104-106.
James made a step back of his own, but Lillard blocked it well, missing the decisive deuce.
Despite the disappointing result, James had another record-breaking night, tying Karl Malone for the most NBA 20-pointers with 1,134.
But the night was all about Lillard, who posted back-to-back 41-point games and extended the Trail Blazers’ winning streak. to three games
Lillard is averaging 34 points, making 47.1% of his shots and 36.4% from three.
“Obviously, Dame is back and pretty much putting the league on notice,” Portland coach Chauncey Billups said after the game. “Dame Dama was in between.”
Despite the loss, the game improved as the Lakers tried to forget the disasters of last season, where they failed to make the playoffs.
Davis was nearly unstoppable in the paint, James was breaking more records and their defense was the best it had been in a long time.
It’s out of the paint where they go down, and Westbrook isn’t the only one missing from range. Through three games, the team is averaging 21.2 percent from three-point range and has hit just six of 33 attempts against the Trail Blazers.
The Lakers’ tough start to the season continues as they travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets, who beat the Warriors and look like one of the best teams in the West.