NBA Game Summary - Portland at LA Lakers
(Tuesday, October 28th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 96, Portland 76
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant started where he left off as the reigning MVP with 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Greg Oden began where he left off -- injured and out of action -- as the Los Angeles Lakers downed Portland, 96-76, in the regular-season opener for both squads.
Pau Gasol contributed 15 points and seven rebounds and Trevor Ariza added 11 points off the bench for the Lakers. Andrew Bynum was back in regular-season action with eight points, which was equaled by his frontcourt mate Vladimir Radmanovic.
Travis Outlaw led Portland with 18 points and Rudy Fernandez donated 16 points off the bench. Brandon Roy scored 14 points and Joel Przybilla collected 11 rebounds off the bench for the Trail Blazers.
But all stats were overshadowed by Oden's regular-season debut and subsequent injury. Oden, the first overall draft pick in 2007, missed all of last season after right knee surgery, then sprained his right foot while attacking the glass in a battle with Bynum and Derek Fisher in the early stages of the first quarter. Bynum draped himself all over the Ohio State product after he corralled an offensive rebound and prepared to go back up strong.
"It was a hook shot, I just went up to get the offensive rebound and I came down on Fisher's foot, kind of on the side of his foot," said Oden.
Oden was sent for x-rays, which came back inconclusive, and he will undergo an MRI on Wednesday.
"He's worked so hard to get himself back and we did all we could to get him into the season and here we are in the first game and it's a tweaked ankle," said Blazers coach Nate McMillan. "Hopefully it's not anything serious, and a couple of days he can be back playing."
McMillan said Oden kept playing and after being removed in the second quarter, at the half the No.1 draft pick tried to convince his coach at playing again, but it wasn't in the cards.
"I wanted to, I was taped, I was trying to run," said Oden. "It just wasn't happening."
Portland struggled from the floor in the opening quarter, and Los Angeles opened a double-digit edge. A Bryant lay-in capped an 8-0 stretch for a 15-4 lead, and Los Angeles held a 24-14 advantage after one quarter.
Gasol's layup gave the home team the first six second-quarter points for a 30-14 lead, and after Fernandez's two free throws, the Lakers embarked on a 10-0 spurt to blow the game open. Gasol and Bryant were the major players with Bryant's jumper staking the Lakers to a 46-24 lead.
The lead stood at 49-34 at the half.
Portland rallied early in the third stanza, scoring the first seven points of the period. Outlaw and LaMarcus Aldridge both drained jumpers to cap the quick spurt for a 49-41 game.
Bryant then took over, attacking the rim and scoring the game's next nine points to extend the edge back to 58-41.
Portland never truly threatened over the final 18 minutes.
Bynum celebrated his 21st birthday on Monday...The Lakers scored 15 fastbreak points to just four for Portland...Los Angeles dominated the interior with 42 points in the paint to just 22 for the Blazers...Portland never led, as the Lakers drained 7-of-10 from beyond the arc.
10/29 02:46:10 ET