THE LOS ANGELES
BLAZERS VS LAKERS | At the Arena on Sunday, the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 106-104 and the Phoenix Suns defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 112-95. Here are five things to remember:
“DAME IS BACK,”
Damian Lillard, a guard with the Blazers, touched his left wrist just after the ball went into the hoop to indicate his welcoming homecoming.
Lillard said that ‘Dame Time’ is back after appearing in just 29 games last season before and after having stomach surgery. Lillard finished with 41 points on 15-for-25 field goal and 3-point shooting, including a 3-pointer with 12.4 seconds left to give Portland a lead of 104-102. (6-for-13).
Coach Chauncey Billups of Portland stated that “Dame is back” and “is pretty much putting the league on notice.”
With an eighth-place NBA scoring average of 30.5 points per game, Lillard has led Portland to a 3-0 record. Lillard attributed his prolific productivity, even taking into consideration the tiny sample size, to both his winter recovery and family time.
“My time away, I let it be my time away,” Lillard stated. I wasn’t reentering it with a sense of having to establish myself.
Lillard has demonstrated his worth in ways more than just scoring.
On the Blazers’ last possession, which finished with Jerami Grant scoring a basket to give Portland a 106-104 lead with three seconds remaining, the six-time All-Star acted as a ruse.
On the following play, when LeBron James missed an 18-foot fadeaway as time ran out, Lillard guarded the great Lakers player. Additionally, Lillard drew a double team before putting up Anfernee Simons for the game-winning shot in Portland’s overtime victory against Phoenix two days earlier.
Dame “let the game come to him” in the beginning of the season, according to Billups. He isn’t one of those aggressive players who thinks they should score every time they touch the ball. Dame often does the right move. When he is assertive, we are lot better. However, being hostile need not result in violence.
2. LAKERS’ STILL FACING DEEP DIFFICULTIES
The Lakers’ sluggish 0-3 start is mostly attributable to their last-place 3-point shooting percentage (21.2%). After missing its first five attempts at 3-pointers, it took L.A. more than seven minutes to make one. In the second quarter, the Lakers attempted nine 3-point shots, but only made one.
With 8:37 remaining in the third quarter, Patrick Beverley made the team’s second 3-pointer, earning tremendous standing ovation from Lakers supporters.
James remarked, “We can’t shoot a penny in the ocean. But we’ve still continued to compete. We have continued to defend in spite of it.