Damian Lillard helps Portland Blazers to 10th straight win over Los Angeles Lakers

By Forrest Lee, The Sports Xchange   |   Jan. 11, 2017 at 9:11 AM
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LOS ANGELES -- After missing nine of 10 shots and scoring only two points in the first half, Damian Lillard didn't need any extra motivation in the second half.

But Los Angeles Lakers point guard D'Angelo Russell lit a spark under Lillard in the third quarter.

For the 10th consecutive time, the Trail Blazers beat the Lakers. CJ McCollum scored 25 points, and the Trail Blazers continued their dominance in a 108-87 rout Tuesday night at Staples Center.

Lillard shook off an awful first half to collect 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Maurice Harkless added 14 points for Portland. Lillard scored 11 of his 18 second-half points in a decisive third quarter when the Blazers took command and rolled to an easy victory.

Lillard and Russell were called for double technicals at 6:05 of the third after some minor pushing and shoving. Lillard accused Russell of initiating the exchange, but the Portland point got the final word.

"Since the last game, he's been doing little slick elbows, and I play the game clean," said Lillard, referring to a 118-109 decision over the Lakers on Thursday at the Moda Center. "I'm from Oakland, and I ain't with that extra stuff. Nobody can just do what they want to me.

"After he blocked my shot, I was walking to my spot, I felt like he went out of his way to get that elbow in there. I told him 'Hey man, that ain't going to fly.' I wasn't interested in anything else that was said after that ... He poked the bear and you see what happened the rest of the game."

Russell, who finished with nine points on 4-of-14 shooting, eight rebounds and six assists downplayed the clash.

"They made shots. A little incident happened then they turned up the pressure," said Russell, who missed all seven of his 3-point attempts. "They started making shots, started getting stops and we didn't."

Luol Deng scored 13 of his 14 points in the first half to lead the Lakers (15-27), who scored only 30 points in the second half. Brandon Ingram chipped in 11 points and Lou Williams scored 10. Four of the five Lakers' starters failed to reach double figures.

"We just went flat," said Lakers guard Nick Young, who was 2 of 9 from the floor and 2 of 5 from 3-point range for eight points. "The energy wasn't there in the second half."

The Lakers haven't defeated the Trail Blazers since a 107-106 victory March 3, 2014 in Portland.

The Trail Blazers (17-23), who had lost nine of 12 entering the contest, blew the game open in the final period. They increased a nine-point lead after three quarters with a 14-4 surge to open the fourth for a 92-73 lead after two foul shots by reserve forward Ed Davis with 7:43 remaining. Portland never allowed the lead to dip below double digits.

The Lakers led 57-55 at the break before the Trail Blazers took command in the second half. The Blazers held a 78-69 advantage heading into the fourth quarter after shutting down the Lakers' offense in the third.

Portland outscored the Lakers 23-12 in the third and outshot them 43.5 percent to 21.7 percent. No Laker scored more than four points in the period and the starters combined for only six points in the third.

Overall, the Blazers hit 50.6 percent of their shots to 38.6 percent for the Lakers. In the second half, the Blazers limited the Lakers to a season-low 29.3 percent shooting. Portland shot 51.2 percent in the second half.

"I thought we defended really well, we held them to 12 points," said McCollum, who scored at least 20 points for the sixth straight game. "We were active, we didn't foul, kept them off the (free throw) line and didn't give up transition baskets."

NOTES:

-- Lakers coach Luke Walton acknowledged that he spoke in the past to ex-teammate Lamar Odom about a future in coaching. Odom, who has experienced drug and alcohol problems since he left the NBA after the 2012-13 season, expressed interest, particularly with the Lakers, according to Walton. "I think Lamar would be great," Walton said. "I think anyone that knows Lamar, when he's right, is one of the most likable people that they've been around and has great knowledge of the game and has a great way of communicating."

-- This was the second of four meetings between the clubs. Their next meeting is Jan. 25 at the Moda Center.

-- The Trail Blazers return home to host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. ... The Lakers visit the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday.

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