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FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Trail Blazers – Game 13 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (7-6) | Portland Trail Blazers (3-9)


The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 107-95, to remain the only undefeated team in In-Season Tournament group play.

The Lakers vs Trail Blazers played at the Moda Center on Friday.

Lakers vs Trail Blazers | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/AP

The Los Angeles Lakers improved their record to 7-6 after beating the Portland Trail Blazers 107-95. They are now 3-0 in In-Season Tournament group play and are in a solid position to advance. 

I mean, it’s been a little topsy-turvy for us, a little inconsistency mixed in, in those first 13 games,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “But this is the early part of the season. Those first 20 games, you’re trying to figure yourselves out.”

LeBron James tied his season-high in this one with 35 points (13-of-22 FGs, 5-of-9 3s, 4-of-6 FTs), along with five rebounds, nine assists, and two steals.

He shot the ball extremely well tonight. He was in a great rhythm, especially from 3. Made some huge plays, big-time shots for us, the kind that just slowed them down,” Anthony Davis said about James.

The Trail Blazers got outworked by the Lakers

For Davis, he had another strong showing with 16 points (8-of-19 FGs), 14 rebounds, three steals and five blocks.

The start of the Lakers vs Trail Blazers first half. 

Lakers vs Trail Blazers | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/AP

It still bothers me, but I try to go out there and compete,” Davis said of his physical condition. “Obviously, not being who I am offensively, shots not falling, the leaping ability isn’t back to where it was, but I try to make up for it on the defensive end and try to impact the game other than scoring. But at the end of the day, if we win basketball games, I’ll figure the rest out.”

For Portland, Jerami Grant led the squad with 24 points (8-of-20 FGs, 4-of-9 3s) and four rebounds, Deandre Ayton accumulated 17 points (8-of-14 FGs), 12 rebounds, and two steals, and Shaedon Sharpe had 17 points (7-of-17 FGs, 1-of-5 3s) and nine rebounds.

We’re so young. A lot of times, even our walkthroughs and shootarounds, we spend most of our time talking about our concepts or things we want to do, and a little time on the Lakers or the Grizzlies or whoever,” Trail Blazers coach Chauncy Billups said. ”We’re still learning so much.”

Portland is currently trying to rebuild after the departure of All-Star Damian Lillard this past offseason. However, the Trail Blazers have been plagued by injuries, with starting guard Anfernee Simons (right thumb), rookie guard Scoot Henderson (right ankle), and veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon (left hamstring) all banged up.

The end of the Lakers vs Trail Blazers first half. 

Los Angeles was sharp early on against Portland, taking a 16-6 lead and getting the shots they wanted on offense. However, a poor close to the first quarter sapped their momentum.

The start of the Lakers vs Trail Blazers second half. 

Lakers vs Trail Blazers | Franchise Sports Media
Steph Chambers: Getty Images

The Lakers’ second unit has struggled on offense early this season, and it was no different in this one. They were outscored 8-0 by the Trail Blazers from the 4:29 mark of the first (Los Angeles was up 28-15) until Austin Reaves scored with 20.5 seconds left to make it 30-23.

Portland began to drive their way back into it until a 13-2 Lakers run erased the Trail Blazers’ comeback, with Christian Wood putting in his best shift in a few games, with six points and five of his ten boards in the second quarter.

Los Angeles led 60-50 at the end of the first half, though it would’ve been larger had Portland not cut into it with a 6-0 run in the final 40 seconds. Nonetheless, the Lakers had just their second halftime lead of the season.

Davis has shot so poorly from midrange this season that it’s essentially a turnover whenever he takes it. It’s been part of his arsenal in the past, and the hope is that he improves as the season continues, but it was rough in this one.

The Blazers used a 23-8 run over the past five minutes of the third quarter to trim the Lakers’ lead to just one, 68-67, with 7:45 left in the period. 

Los Angeles kept on losing loose balls once again, shown in part by a 15-5 Portland dominance of the offensive glass. The Blazers averaged just 11.6 offensive boards per game coming into this one.

Taurean Prince shot 41.2 percent from 3 in the four October games but has struggled in November thus far, coming into this game at 22.7 percent before going 0-for-4.

However, the Lakers regained control of the game after back-to-back 3s from James had the crowd going wild and extending Los Angeles’ lead to seven as they entered the fourth and final quarter, Lakers 82, Blazers 75.

A quick 7-0 run since James returned to start the fourth period sparked things up, as he hit a three and had two assists to put Los Angeles up 89-75.

The Lakers came into this game 2-0 in Group A with a +30 point differential. Yet, they are now 3-0 in Group A with an NBA-best point differential of +42. They can clinch their group and potentially the first seed in the West if they can beat the Utah Jazz next Tuesday.

If the Jazz win, both teams would be 3-1, and head-to-head is the first tiebreaker. 

Los Angeles’ +42 differential comes into play to determine quarter-final seeding if they beat Utah or if they lose and need it for the wild card.

It’s an incentive for sure, this early in the season,” James said about the tournament. “We understand what’s at stake. That’s not saying we’re putting all our eggs in one basket in the In-Season Tournament.”

The final score of the Lakers vs Trail Blazers was 107-95, Lakers.

The Lakers will now take on the Houston Rockets at Arena on Sunday, November 19th, at 6:30 pm PST.


– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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