Trail Blazers vs Lakers Friday, 04/08/11 AT 07:00PM

Trail Blazers Run The Show Against The Lakers

  1. Written by: ShalamarClark  / avg. rating: 4.3

    When you lack size, rely on speed.

    The Portland Trail Blazers burned Los Angeles up and down the court 20-6 in fastbreak points that sprung a massive 23-3 run in the third quarter to beat the Lakers 93-86 Friday at the Rose Garden.

    The Trail Blazers’ (47-33) transition offense created problems all night for the Lakers (55-24) as Portland avoided a season sweep and remained in sixth place in the playoff race.

    LaMarcus Aldridge recorded a double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds for Portland, while Gerald Wallace scored 19 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in their second straight win and finished the series 3-1.

    “It was big, a big win,” said Aldridge. “But you can’t put too much on one game. But whenever you beat the Lakers, the defending champs, it’s always a good game and a good night for you.”

    Wallace fouled out the Lakers’ big man Andrew Bynum, who had three points and six rebounds, with 2:46 left in the fourth after stepping in the paint in front of Bynum to pick up the charge.

    “He’s fearless,” said Trail Blazers’ Head Coach Nate McMillian of Wallace. “He plays fearless, he throws his body around, he gives up his body, and that’s how you have to play to win these types of games.”

    Kobe Bryant led Los Angeles, which tied its season-worst four game losing streak, with 24 points and scored 12 in the last two minutes of the second quarter after nailing four consecutive 3-pointers to trail 53-47.

    “We were lazy and inefficient in the first half,” said Lakers’ Head Coach Phil Jackson. “I thought in the second half we just didn’t buckle down and do the right things offensively in the third quarter. And then, when we had to start playing hard…these guys just don’t want to play hard right now.”

    Portland hustled all game, turning its six-point lead in the third into a gigantic 24-point deficit. 

    ‘That’s all we did. Run [the Lakers],” said Wallace. “[We] made their bigs get out in the open court and attack, attack, attack. I think they had trouble getting up and down the court.”

    Wesley Matthew, who had 18 points, ignited the run, scoring six straight points and hitting a pair of free throws. Brandon Roy, who had five points on 29 minutes, capped the stretch off with a reverse lay-up, but not before Aldridge threw down two alley-oop dunks from Andre Miller to lead 74-50 in the third. 

    Miller tallied a double-double with 12 points, 13 assists and six rebounds.

    “He’s been doing a good job of just leading this team,” said McMillan of Miller. “He did a nice job of advancing the ball and making plays.”

    Nicolas Batum landed in double-digit points, scoring 13 and shooting 6-of-12 from the field.

    Los Angeles rallied back to end the third on a 12-0 run as Portland missed its last nine shots, but managed to stay ahead 74-62.

    The Lakers experience a dry spell to start the fourth after scoring only one field goal in seven minutes on a Matt Barnes’ tip shot. Barnes had seven points.

    Matthews hit a three and Miller knocked down a technical foul to go up 81-64 with 7:52 left.

    “You never want to get swept by anyone,” said Aldridge. “We felt we had them twice, but we didn’t execute down the stretch.”

    That’s when Los Angeles tried to make a late run like it had accomplished in its previous three meetings. Ron Artest ended with 14 points and landed a pair of threes, and Lamar Odom, who had 13 points and 14 rebounds, connected from deep. 

    Bryant capped the 13-3 run with two driving buckets to pull within seven with 2:09 remaining.

    "We felt the last two games [against the Lakers] we had a chance to win," said McMillan. "We really wanted to prove to ourselves that we could do it."

    The Trail Blazers did accomplish that task fending off the Lakers with a three from Batum and a driving lay-up from Wallace around Bryant. 

    “Actually executing down the stretch and winning the game felt good for us,” said Aldridge.

    Portland defense forced the Lakers to 17 turnovers and held their shooting to 39 percent, while the Trail Blazers got in rhythm to hit the 45 percent mark.  

    The Trail Blazers will compete in their last regular season matchup at the Rose Garden on Tuesday, when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies (45-34). Tipoff is scheduled for 7 PM.

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