Inactives for Tonight’s Game:
Blazers: Josh McRoberts, Darius Miles, Greg Oden
Lakers: Andrew Bynum, Coby Karl, Trevor Ariza
11:04 Radmanovic starts the game similar to the way he left off on Sunday night against Washington, showing aggression on offense, getting the pass deep in the lane and throwing up a soft hook that gets a friendly bounce over the rim and in for the Lakers’ first basket of the game.
9:35 For the second game in a row, Fisher is showing no ill signs of his foot injury, driving into the lane with ease before hitting an off-balance 10 footer and one his first points of the game and a 6-4 Lakers lead.
7:32 Pau makes his first bucket since returning from injury, connecting on a fadeaway baby hook. Gasol has looked a little timid on defense so far, but he’s showing no signs of discomfort on offense.
5:23 The Lakers call timeout after another basket by Portland has suddenly put the Blazers up 18-10. Travis Outlaw has burned L.A. so far, scoring eight points to go along with four rebounds. As was the case when the Blazers last came to STAPLES Center minus Brandon Roy, other players are stepping up in a big way for them.
5:23 Turiaf checks into the game, replacing Gasol after more than six minutes of play.
3:35 Kobe makes two free throws for his seventh and eighth points of the night to cut Portland’s lead to 17-23. Meanwhile, Luke Walton checks into the game for an ineffective Radmanovic. Walton will be looking to follow up on his best game of the season against Washington on Sunday, when he scored a season-high 19 points.
2:17 Kobe is the recipient of a full-court pass from Walton, toying with two Blazers’ defenders before launching a hook shot that brings the Lakers to within four of Portland at 21-25. Kobe leads both teams in scoring with 10 points.
1:19 Luke makes an outstanding move in the lane, making the shot and giving himself an extra shot from the foul line. Farmar enters the game, replacing Fisher. Derek leaves the game with five points.
12:00 Sasha Vujacic comes into the game to start the second. Pau is right behind him, entering the game 20 seconds later.
10:25 Vujacic immediately makes his presence felt, nailing his first field goal attempt–a three pointer that brings the Lakers to within two of Portland at 31-33. Sasha had 20 points in the Lakers’ victory over the Wizards, including six three pointers in only 18 minutes of play.
8:50 The Lakers finally recover the lead 35-33 after Luke patiently waits for the perfect moment to pass to Pau, who hits a clean jumper from the top of the key. Gasol has four points and one rebound on the night.
8:42 Odom returns for the Lakers.
6:52 Luke continues to showcase his improved confidence, showing no hesitation in launching a fifteen footer from the corner that hits nothing but net. Walton has five points on the night as it looks like Jackson is favoring him over Vladi after taking Radmanovic out in the first quarter.
4:41 Lamar makes a great driving layup to reclaim the lead for the Lakers 42-41. The basket is Odom’s sixth point of the night after he was quiet on offense for most of the second quarter up until this point. Lamar played his best basketball of the season in Gasol’s absence so it will be especially interesting to see how he performs now that some of the offensive and rebounding weight that was placed on his shoulders is alleviated with Pau returning.
2:28 After missing his past few shots, Radmanovic finally gets a break underneath the basket, using a nifty reverse layup for his fourth point of the night. The Lakers trail 49-46 in what’s been a back-and-forth game since the tip.
1:32 Sasha returns for L.A, relieving Kobe his first break of the night.
HALFTIME: The score is tied at 50 at halftime in a game that has been close throughout the first 24 minutes. L.A. shot well from the field, making 49% of their shots, but were unable to pull away from the pesky Blazers thanks to their eight three point makes. Kobe leads the Lakers in scoring with 16 points, followed by eight from Odom. In addition to their three point barrage, Portland has also excelled on the glass, securing nine offensive rebounds compared to only two for the Lakers. Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw have both played well for the Blazers, each scoring 10 points and knocking in two three pointers a piece.
11:18 Great start to the second half for the Lakers, as Kobe throws a perfect pass to Odom for a driving layup that puts him in double figures along with Kobe.
9:13 Kobe weaves his way in the lane for a layup that takes him over the 20 point plateau and gives the Lakers a 58-53 lead three minutes into the third quarter.
6:33 Fisher ends a brief dry spell for both teams, hitting a twenty footer from the corner to bring him one point shy of becoming the third Laker to reach double figures tonight. On the Lakers’ next possession, Radmanovic made his first three point shot of the night to bump his total on the game to seven points.
4:56 Fisher’s heating up and the STAPLES Center crowd is finally showing life after the guard hits another jumper from the corner to push L.A.’s lead to a game-high 10 points at 69-59. While the Lakers are are playing well on offense, their lead has been built by stopping Portland on their end of the floor the past few possessions.
2:37 The Lakers call timeout as their lead has shrunk to six points at 69-63. Martell Webster is beginning to heat up for Portland, pushing his scoring total on the game to 13 points–one behind Travis Outlaw for the team lead. While the Lakers’ shooting percentage has remained roughly the same since halftime, the Blazers’ percentage has actually gone down (38%).
2:37 Farmar and Turiaf check back into the game for the Lakers.
45.0 Kobe pulls up for an easy 17 footer that increases the Lakers’ lead back to double digits, 73-63. Bryant has 22 points on the night to lead L.A.
10:18 Kobe punches in his first basket of the fourth quarter to give the Lakers a game-high 12 point lead, 77-65. Bryant has 24 points on the night to match his number.
9:39 Farmar makes a difficult layup against the shot clock after grabbing the rebound off of his own miss. Jordan has eight points and two rebounds on the night off the bench for the Lakers on four of seven shooting from the field. More importantly, it looks like the Lakers are finally playing with consistency on both ends of the floor after playing to Portland’s level for much of the first three quarters.
7:37 Standing ovation for the Lakers after Kobe connects on a trey for his 27th point of the night to give the Lakers an 18 point lead over the undermanned Blazers. Kobe is working his way into a triple double, already compiling 12 rebounds and seven assists as the Lakers look like they’re heading toward their first easy victory in a long while.
6:01 After another quiet stretch, Odom gets his first basket of the fourth for his 12th point on the night. Lamar has found other ways to contribute tonight, pulling down five rebounds and blocking thee Blazers shots to anchor the Lakers’ front line.
5:15 Fisher, Gasol, Odom and Bryant all return the floor as the Blazers have muscled their way to back within 10 of the Lakers at 88-78 with just over minutes to go.
4:03 Kobe answers Webster’s three pointer by swishing one of his own to reclaim a double digit lead for the Lakers. Bryant isn’t finished either as he just made another three pointer on the Lakers’ next possession and gets the foul too for the rare four-point play. Just like that, the Lakers’ lead is back up to 14.
2:02 The Blazers cut the lead down to 10 again, but Vladi just nailed a three pointer to bump the lead back to 19 and most likely ice the game for the Lakers.
FINAL SCORE: Blazers 91, Lakers 104