NBA Game Summary - Portland at LA Lakers
(Tuesday, February 1st)
Final Score: LA Lakers 92, Portland 79
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Caron Butler and Chucky Atkins both scored 19 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 92-79 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center.
Butler also had 10 rebounds while Lamar Odom chipped in 18 points for the Lakers, who have won two straight following a three-game losing streak.
The Lakers played without head coach Rudy Tomjanovich, who missed his second straight game with a stomach virus. Frank Hamblen, who also coached the team against the expansion Bobcats on Sunday, was on the bench as the head coach for this contest as well.
There have been reports concerning Tomjanovich's future with the club as earlier on Tuesday, ESPN said he was planning on resigning after the game due partly to health-related issues. The reports, though, said the health issues were not a recurrence of the bladder cancer that forced Tomjanovich to take a medical leave of absence as head coach of the Houston Rockets during the 2002-03 season.
However, the Lakers denied the reports and said later on Tuesday that several options are being considered for Tomjanovich's future and resignation is among them, however, nothing is definite.
Tomjanovich took over as the 20th coach in franchise history last July, signing a five-year deal worth a reported $30 million, after Phil Jackson and the Lakers mutually agreed to part company following the NBA Finals loss to the Detroit Pistons.
"It was very shocking," said Butler about the news concerning Tomjanovich. "But we attended to our business as usual. I hope it's not true, he's a legend and a great coach."
Damon Stoudamire had 25 points for the Trail Blazers, who have lost eight of their last 10 contests. Ruben Patterson contributed 20 points and Nick Van Exel added 18 in the loss.
Portland led by as many as eight points in the first quarter and eventually held a 29-26 lead after one period.
In the second, though, the Lakers opened the frame with a 15-1 burst, to take charge. Atkins' three early in the quarter started the flurry and Odom put an end to the lengthy run with a jumper with 4 1/2 minutes left to give LA a commanding 41-30 lead. During the burst, the Blazers went slightly over eight minutes without a field goal.
The Lakers led 49-39 at halftime and held a 69-59 lead after three periods.
However, in the fourth, Los Angeles blew the game open as it scored 11 of the first 14 points to widen the lead to 80-62. The Blazers never seriously threatened again.
"We talked about it before the game," said Hamblen about Tomjanovich's future with the team. "They set that aside and went out to do their job. I am happy with our effort."
Chris Mihm had 13 points and 10 boards while Tierre Brown tied a career-high with nine assists for the Lakers...LA has won three of the last four in the series and has taken 12 of the last 15 meetings in Hollywood...The Lakers are 21-3 this season when allowing under 100 points...Portland has lost five straight and eight of its last nine on the road. The Blazers have also dropped 10 straight games as the visitor against Western Conference teams...Portland shot just 36 percent from the floor, marking the lowest percentage by a Laker opponent this season.
02/02 01:10:46 ET