Video Credit: NBA

New FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Trail Blazers – Game 3

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (0-3) | Portland Trail Blazers (3-0)


The Lakers have now lost three straight after losing 106-104 to the Trail Blazers despite LeBron James tying Karl Malone for the most 20-point games in NBA history


Lakers vs Trail Blazers
Photo Credit: Alex Gallardo/AP

The Lakers rolled out the same starters as their previous two games.

Rookie Cole Swider, Dennis Schröder, and Thomas Bryant all remained out for this game. Former Las Vegas Centennial star Troy Brown Jr. had his season debut after missing the first two games to start the season due to lower back tightness.

Lakers’ head coach Darvin Ham told reporters that Brown Jr. will bring size on the wing defensively, athleticism, and shooting to the court. Brown Jr. has an “unbelievable upside” for the Lakers this season.

Ham’s focus on improving this team included defending without fouling, rebounds, and making shots. All three weren’t expected to be improved overnight, but they all played a part in why the Lakers lost this game.

The Lakers went up 6-0 early against Portland

The Lakers got a baseline jump shot from Lonnie Walker IV, a dunk from Anthony Davis in a screen and roll action with LeBron James, and two free throws from Davis. All amidst an ice-cold start from Portland. They began the game shooting 0 for 5, including four misses from Damian Lillard.

After getting off to a 10-2 start, the Lakers began to struggle. Portland dominated the rest of the period to take a 32-24 lead out of the 1st quarter. 

The Lakers shot just 37.5% from the field (1 for seven from three), had six turnovers, and conceded 11 free throws, several of those being on unnecessary fouls.

The Blazers were +5 in plus/minus with Lillard on the bench but then led by 12 when he returned to the court with a layup.

With 3’s continuing not to fall (1 for 16), Portland had too many bodies in the paint and got called for illegal defense, with four of their players touching the paint.

However, their inside scoring kept them in this game with 30-16 points in the paint by halftime. The Lakers were down by seven at the half at home, 55-48. At halftime, James was 0-3 from three, falling to 5-21 for the season.


The Lakers haven’t been able to overcome their poor outside shooting, but their inside scoring kept the game close against the Trail Blazers


Lakers vs Trail Blazers
Photo Credit: Alex Gallardo/AP

Both teams took turns missing shots on six consecutive attempts—three shots from Russell Westbrook and two from Anfernee Simons. But then the Lakers ripped off a quick 7-0 run to tie the game at 59, as James and Davis scored inside, and Patrick Beverley hit a three.

James then made one of his signature cross-court passes to get Walker IV a wide-open corner 3, and he hit it to tie the game. But Lillard would answer, as Portland now led by 3.

Davis would get a wide-open look for three and clanked it. Jusuf Nurkic didn’t even walk over there. The Lakers were now 2-21 from three.

Lillard had created some separation for Portland, but Davis dominated the last few minutes for the Lakers; he scored three times at the rim to tie the game at 74.

Austin Reaves would hit what might be the Lakers’ first momentum 3 of the season, resulting in another great play from Davis, securing his 5th block and a transition push before dishing to Reaves to put the Lakers up 77-74.

Back-to-back threes from James gave the Lakers a 7-point cushion,83-76. That’s five makes from three in the 3rd quarter after making just 1 in the 1st half.

James would tie with Karl Malone for the most 20-point games in NBA history in this game, with 1,134 games total.

The Lakers were now up 91-86 off of some strong defensive minutes from Beverley, Brown Jr., and Juan Toscano.

Now with six blocks, Davis is two off his Laker high of 8 blocks from January 2020. He also had two steals with 6:51 to play.

The Lakers matched their biggest lead of 8 (from when it was 10-2) with James’ tough and-1 finish at the rim. With 4:30 to play, 98-90 is the margin.

The Lakers successfully challenged the terms of Beverley not fouling Lillard. But the refs determined it was a foul on James instead. 

The Lakers kept their timeout by winning the challenge, but Portland kept the ball. Portland would have a successful challenge of their own, as it was determined that there was no offensive foul on Nurkic with Beverley going down. 

The Blazers are down 1 with 21.8 seconds to play. The Lakers didn’t score in nearly 2 minutes.

The referees busted Beverley for a flop, giving Lillard another shot, and he bombed home another big three.

Westbrook would miss a wide-open mid-range jumper, his go-to, and he successfully got off a 2-for-1. But, unfortunately, he has taken much worse.

The Lakers now trailed 104-102 after a Lillard 3 in the final seconds. The Lakers were up 98-90 when they put Westbrook back in for Brown Jr. However; the offense struggled to produce good looks since.

James then took advantage of a defensive breakdown from the Blazers to get to the rim and tie the game with an uncontested layup at 104 with 7.7 seconds left.

It was then the Blazers’ ball with the chance for the last shot. With the Lakers looking to force OT. Jerami Grant would drive into the paint and score. Leaving just 3 seconds left on the clock.

James would get the ball on the inbound and attempt a fall-away jumper to tie the game but was way short. The Lakers gave up a 16-6 run at home down the stretch, losing by two to Lillard and co.


Some quick Takeaways


Lakers vs Trail Blazers
Photo Credit: Spectrum SportsNet

Westbrook crashed down to reality hard last time out, and this game was more of the same. He scored just 10 points on 4-15 shooting from the field and 0-3 from three. He added six rebounds and six assists. He was the only starter to be in the negative for plus/minus with -4.

Strong efforts just weren’t enough, as James finished with 31 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and two blocks. Davis had 22 points, ten rebounds, two steals, and six blocks. Walker IV built off his strong outing last game with 15 points and four rebounds.

The Lakers’ outside shooting continues to get worse as what is now a season-low 18.2% (6-33) from three compared to the Trail Blazers’ 37%. The Lakers were out-rebounded 52-40. However, the Lakers dominated the paint, outscoring Portland 66-38.

Lillard was Portland’s engine, finishing with 41 points on 6-13 shooting from three and five rebounds. However, it’s to be noted that the Lakers’ defense did force Lillard to commit six turnovers. Grant also pitched in 16 points in the win.

James shared his thoughts with reporters after the Lakers’ tough loss to the Blazers, “We can’t shoot a pin in the ocean, but that hasn’t stopped us from competing or defending. That’s given us a chance in all three games to win.”


The Lakers will travel to Denver, Colorado, looking to win their first game of the season against the Denver Nuggets Wednesday, October 26th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Pepsi Center. The game will be available on ESPN.

Lakers vs Trail Blazers            Lakers vs Trail Blazers            Lakers vs Trail Blazers            Lakers vs Trail Blazers            Lakers vs Trail Blazers            Lakers vs Trail Blazers            Lakers vs Trail Blazers            Lakers vs Trail Blazers            Lakers vs Trail Blazers            Lakers vs Trail Blazers            Lakers vs Trail Blazers            Lakers vs Trail Blazers            Lakers vs Trail Blazers            

– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Jake on Twitter @jguchi_

Follow Jake on Instagram @jguchi_

Follow The Franchise on social media