NBA Game Summary - Portland at LA Lakers
(Sunday, January 4th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 100, Portland 86
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant posted a game-high 26 points and the Lakers used a big third quarter to cruise to a 100-86 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Los Angeles' victory, coupled with the setbacks by Boston and Cleveland earlier Sunday, gives the Lakers the best record in the league at 27-5.
Pau Gasol finished with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field, while Vladimir Radmanovic and Sasha Vujacic came off the bench to chip in 16 and 11 points, respectively, in LA's sixth straight win.
The Blazers, who were coming off a 3-2 homestand, were without star Brandon Roy (hamstring) for the third straight game and were led by LaMarcus Aldridge's 22 points and 11 rebounds. Nicolas Batum made all six of his attempts from the floor for 17 points, but Portland as a whole shot a mediocre 39.0 percent from the floor.
"We're not getting production. Brandon [Roy] is not with us. We have to get it done without Brandon," Blazers head coach Nate McMillan said. "We can't sit and wait for him to return. Our bench needs to help us. The Lakers are a good group and they are on a mission."
Though Portland came out and took a 25-19 lead after the first 12 minutes of play, the Lakers used an 8-2 run to finish the second frame, riding that momentum into a dominating third stanza.
LA's 51-50 lead at the break was never relinquished, as back-to-back Gasol field goals midway through the frame was the catalyst behind a 13-2 spurt that gave the Lakers a comfortable lead at 75-59.
Radmanovic's three-pointers to close out the third and open the fourth gave the hosts an 84-66 advantage, as Portland was able to net just one field goal -- a Travis Outlaw three-pointer -- in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the fourth.
Aldridge's jumper with 4:46 remaining pulled the Blazers within 92-77, but Radmanovic grabbed an offensive rebound and laid in another bucket on the ensuing possession to deflate the comeback attempt.
The Lakers' defense again held the Blazers without a field goal for the next two-plus minutes to stay on top with relative ease.
"We turned up the defensive intensity in the second half. We were getting loose balls and stopped our turnovers. We're looking to play our best every game," LA forward Lamar Odom said.
Los Angeles, which has won 15 straight at home and is a sterling 18-1 at Staples Center this year, will finish its five-game homestand against New Orleans on Tuesday...Rudy Fernandez had 14 points for Portland, which also got 13 points out of Steve Blake...Odom logged 10 points and six rebounds off the bench for Los Angeles, which shot 49.3 percent from the floor.
01/05 00:55:30 ET