Video Credit: NBA

New FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Trail Blazers- Game 52

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (25-27) | Portland Trail Blazers (21-31)


AD and Carmelo Anthony showed out last night to secure a much-needed win over Portland 99-94.


Photo Credit: Allen J. Schaben/LA Times

It was a defensive game from both sides in this one, but the Lakers finally found that edge they so desperately needed. Damian Lillard and Lebron James were both out last night, but both teams proved just how much depth they have.

Portland would go 6-24 from the field in the first, allowing the Lakers to find a groove early. Avery Bradley got the scoring started with a three, while Anthony Davis posted 6 of the first 13 for the LakersJusef Nurkic was the only answer Portland had early, as he helped keep the lead manageable despite a dreadful offense to start.

It was a party early for Arena, as Carmelo Anthony began to haunt his former team. Posting 10 points on 4-4 shooting in the first, he led a 12-4 run to end the quarter. C.J. McCollum went 0-6 from the field, a big part of their first-quarter deficit while they continue to miss Damian Lillard.   The Lakers were up by 12 going into the second, while they looked to maintain their lead and prove last week’s critics wrong.

THT started the second with two turnovers, but the Lakers still found ways to apply pressure on offense. Nurkic was the true MVP of the half for Portland, as he proceeded to lead a 17-5 run with two threes to put them down by just 1. The Lakers’ defense began to slip towards the end of the half, but Carmelo Anthony stayed consistent with his fourth three on the night. With buckets by Anthony and Dwight Howard, the deficit sat at a game-high 13 for the Trail Blazers.

Nurkic and AD would go back and forth on offense as the half came to a close, but one final hustle score by Norman Powell had the lead back to just 1. With 16 points for Norman Powell, along with a first-half double-double for Nurkic – 14 points and ten rebounds, Portland would reassert themselves back into the game. Eight turnovers in the half helped the Blazers gain momentum as they went into the break, hoping to find their first-quarter identity again.

Something had to give for the Lakers in the second half, as these struggles have been like a broken record this season. Lebron is still on the sideline as he awaits improvement in his knee, but with the return of Davis, the excuses were running out.


Carmelo Anthony was 4-4 from the arc in the first half, but they only led Portland 54-53 heading into the second half.   


Lakers vs Trail Blazers
Photo Credit: Allen J. Schaben/LA Times

McCollum would finally wake up for Portland, scoring the first 8 points to start the third. Portland would maintain a slight lead throughout the quarter as the game remained close. While the game refused to head in anyone’s direction, Anthony would hit one more from the arc to seemingly put them down, one going into the fourth. However, the Blazers continued to hustle on the final plays of the quarter, as they got one last bucket with .4 seconds on the clock.

It was the Lakers’ time to shine, as this quarter proved to be a test like no other. Carmelo Anthony would put them back on top with a ferocious dunk on the pass, but the Blazers would refuse to give right away. McCollum would hit a three to put them down just 1 with 9 minutes to play.

AD would lead a much-needed 6-2 run as the game wound down, but Portland had something to say concerning Carmelo Anthony’s strong performance. Norman Powell had ice in his veins with the Lakers up three with just over two minutes to play as he tied the game 89-89 with a three. AD had enough of these dismal displays clearly, as he went off for his team, scoring six straight points to secure the lead and the game. It was a display Laker Nation can indeed boast about for a while, as they’ve long awaited this kind of carry from their superstar.

The Lakers posted two double-doubles in this one for the Lakers – AD and Russ, but Davis had himself a night with 30 points and 15 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony was critical off the bench, hitting five threes and posting 24 points against his former club. Portland chipped away all game as Powell had a game to remember with 30 of his own. These two teams both occupy the bottom of the Western Conference standings, and they clearly played with something to prove.

It was a much-needed win for the Lakers, as they continue to lack full strength on the floor. Lebron James is ready to impact the proceedings with his return, but they proved just how well-balanced they could be. They may not be in the position they want to be right now, but perhaps all the Lakers need is a chance to prove who they are in the playoffs. Malik Monk was 2-10 from the field, so it’s interesting to see just how great they can be when everyone is healthy and in rhythm.


The Lakers look to keep it rolling tonight against the Clippers, as the game can be seen at 7:00 on TNT.


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– Duncan Dye – Franchise Sports Media

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