Video Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Playoff Recap: Lakers vs Trail Blazers – Game 5

Los Angeles Lakers (4-1)  |  Portland Trail Blazers (1-4)


The Lakers closed out their series with the Portland Trail Blazers after a 131-122 victory Sunday evening. 


Photo Credit: NBA News

The Lakers were once again powered by the NBA’s best 1-2 punch in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Trail Blazers, playing without star Damien Lillard, couldn’t contain James and Davis, who scored 79 points on 28-of-37 shooting in Game 5. 

“We got better throughout the course of the series,” James said. “We knew we were coming into a series versus a hot Portland team that was playing the best basketball inside the bubble along with Phoenix. So we wanted to just come in and try to work our game, get better and better as the games went on, as the series went on. And I believe we did that.”

James had a triple-double with 36 points, ten rebounds, and ten assists, and Davis had a playoff-best 43 points for the top-seeded Lakers in their first playoff appearance since 2013.


The past three days have been a whirlwind for James, and the entire NBA, but the King managed to keep his focus and help the Lakers to their first playoff series win since 2012.


Game 5 was initially scheduled for Wednesday night, but after the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their game against the Orlando Magic, the rest of the players collectively decided not to play in the three playoff games that were set for that day. The players were protesting the racial injustice following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The NBA and NBAPA also postponed all the NBA games on Friday.

“Obviously, the bubble season will never be forgotten. In sports, this is the first time we’ve been able to do something like this, but this moment is so much bigger than us playing basketball,” James said. “Hopefully, years on down the line, when America is in a better place, you can look back to this moment and be like, that was one of the catapults that kind of got it going.”


Lakers vs Trail Blazers Recap
Photo Credit: Blazers Edge

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association released a joint statement Friday morning announcing that the NBA playoffs would resume on Saturday and that the league and its players will work together on several initiatives to promote voting access, combat social injustice and racial inequality, and advocate for police reform.

The Lakers announced Saturday before the game that Staples Center would serve as a voting center for the upcoming general election. Voters can cast ballots at the arena from Oct. 30 through Nov. 3. The arena will also serve as a drop-off site for ballots.

“We stand ready to support the NBPA’s and NBA’s effort to convert every NBA arena possible into a polling location for this fall’s election, James said in a statement on Friday. “We know that voting will not end our pain. Voting cannot bring back those killed by the police officers sworn to protect us. Voting cannot erase the scars of slavery and segregation. It cannot change our history, but it can change our future.

“If it couldn’t, those in power wouldn’t be trying so hard to take the right to vote away from us. They wouldn’t be trying so hard to erect barriers to the ballot box.”


Series News and Notes:


  • A LeBron James team has never lost a first-round playoff series, going 14-0 since he started playing in the postseason.
  • Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo, who practiced on Friday, remained inactive for Game 5. He is recovering from a fractured right thumb and back spasms. He will likely be back for Round 2 of the playoffs.
  • Lakers guard Dion Waiters was a game-time decision with a migraine but was available to play.
  • Former Trail Blazers forward Cliff Robinson passed away on Saturday at just 53 years old. Robinson played 18 seasons in the NBA, his first eight in Portland. Robinson helped lead the Trail Blazers to two NBA Finals and won the 1993 Sixth Man of the Year Award before playing for the Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, and New Jersey Nets. He was selected as an NBA All-Star once, in 1994.


The Lakers now await the winner between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder to determine who their second-round opponent will be.

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-Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

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