NBA Game Summary - LA Lakers at Portland
(Thursday, January 5th)
Final Score: Portland 107, LA Lakers 96
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Clyde Drexler isn't in uniform, but Portland sure seems to be playing like it's the good old days.
The last time Portland won five of its first six games, Rasheed Wallace was an offensive staple. This time it was Gerald Wallace who stole the show, scoring 31 points with five rebounds in Portland's 107-96 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Portland improved to 4-0 at the raucous Rose Garden, where Trail Blazers fans remember Drexler, Jerome Kersey, Damon Stoudamire and days of relevancy that could soon be returning.
"We've done some good things," Portland head coach Nate McMillan said. "These are some of the top teams in the conference, so it's been a challenge for us."
LaMarcus Aldridge posted 28 points and 10 rebounds, Jamal Crawford added 17 points of instant offense in just over 23 minutes and Wesley Matthews chipped in with 16 points for Portland.
Kobe Bryant scored 30 points to go along with eight rebounds and Andrew Bynum donated 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers, who have dropped three straight road games for the first time since losing four road tests in a row to kick off the 1995-1996 season.
The Lakers have lost 17 of their last 21 games in Portland, but head coach Mike Brown said he doesn't believe they're jinxed.
"Portland's a good team. It's one game. I don't feel that -- maybe that's wrong of me, but you have to give Portland credit," said Brown. "They're a good team. They had something to do with us losing, but I thought our guys didn't play the way we're capable of playing."
The Lakers opened a 28-21 edge in the first period, but Portland rattled off the next six points to draw within one only to see the margin grow back to 31-27 for LA at the end of one stanza.
Portland tied the game on several occasions in the second period, but went into the locker room in the small hole it started the period in, 56-52. Buckets by Bryant and Bynum sandwiched a Wallace three in the final 33 seconds of the half.
The Blazers finally reached the top of the mountain, rattling off eight successive points to seize a 62-60 lead on Wallace's three-point play just under the nine-minute mark of the third. Portland continued to pound the basketball inside as Aldridge drained a short turnaround to again put the home team in front, 66-64, with just under seven minutes left in the quarter.
After the Lakers squared the contest, Portland attacked the paint with three successive layups, the last a putback by Matthews for a 72-66 lead. The swingman stepped back not even two minutes later and put a fitting stamp on a 10-0 spurt with a trey for a 76-66 game. Portland maintained its double-digit lead by quarter's end, 84-74, thanks to Crawford's triple in the waning seconds.
The Lakers sliced the deficit to 90-83 on Bryant's turnaround jumper with just under eight minutes on the clock, but never got any closer as the Blazers had every answer for Bryant and the Lakers.
Portland made 46 percent of its shots and took care of the basketball, committing just four turnovers to 13 for the Lakers...Pau Gasol scored 19 points with seven rebounds in the loss...Raymond Felton struggled in the win, scoring just eight points on 3-of-14 shooting, but he did dish out 10 assists.
01/06 03:19:02 ET