NBA News Wire
Lakers 107, Trail Blazers 106
PORTLAND, Ore. — Forward Wesley Johnson scored on a lob pass with 6.4 seconds left to lift the Los Angeles Lakers past the Portland Trail Blazers 107-106 Monday night at the Moda Center.
Portland guard Damian Lillard’s contested 3-pointer was short at the buzzer, giving the Lakers (21-39) their second consecutive victory.
Center Pau Gasol scored 22 points, and guard Jodie Meeks added 21 for the Lakers, who led by as many as 15 points in the first half.
Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points, Lillard contributed 20, center Robin Lopez scored 19, and forward Nicolas Batum added 17 points and 15 rebounds. Portland (41-19) saw its five-game win streak end.
The Lakers extended a 63-56 halftime lead to 69-59 and then 82-73, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Portland F Dorell Wright cut the margin to three late in the third quarter. The visitors took an 87-84 advantage into the final period.
With Meeks leading the way, the Lakers upped the margin to 97-86 with 7:30 to play. The Lakers’ edge was 103-94 when the Blazers rallied, Batum’s 3-pointer capping a 7-0 run that brought Portland within 103-101 with 3:37 remaining.
Los Angeles guard MarShon Brooks sank two free throws to make it 105-101 with 3:14 left, but Batum’s rebound jam brought the Blazers back within 105-103.
A fadeaway jumper by Portland guard Wesley Matthews tied it at 105-105 with 1:10 to play. Lillard missed the second of two foul shots with 34.6 seconds to go, but he followed the shot for the rebound, and the Blazers had the ball and a 106-105 lead.
After a timeout, Matthews missed a jumper and Los Angeles rebounded, but Lakers guard Kent Bazemore had the ball knocked out of bounds driving to the basket with 7.1 seconds left. After a timeout, Johnson laid in a lob pass at the rim for the game’s final basket.
Meeks had 13 points and Gasol 12 in helping the Lakers to a seven-point halftime lead. Aldridge scored 17 first-half points, and Lopez had 13 points and nine rebounds prior to intermission.
The Lakers, taking advantage of eight first-quarter Portland turnovers and outscoring the Blazers 13-0 in fast-break points, led by 15 early and settled for a 33-20 advantage heading into the second quarter.
Los Angeles’ lead was 48-38 when the Blazers scored six in a row to cut it the margin to four with 5:26 left before halftime. The Lakers carried a 63-56 edge into the break.
NOTES: The Lakers entered the night having lost 14 of their last 18 games, but their previous outing was their best offensive performance of the season. The Lakers shot 60 percent from the field, scored a season-high 126 points and made a franchise-record 19 3-pointers (out of 27 attempts) in a 126-122 win over Sacramento on Friday. … The Trail Blazers lost for just the fourth time in their past 16 meetings with the Lakers at the Moda Center. … Portland F LaMarcus Aldridge, who had missed five games with a groin injury, returned to duty Saturday night, collecting 16 points and seven rebounds in 30 minutes against the Denver Nuggets. F Thomas Robinson (knee) and C Joel Freeland (knee) remain out for the Blazers. … The Lakers regained the services of G Xavier Henry, who had been out since Dec. 31 with a knee injury. Henry scored a team-high 27 points on 9-for-12 shooting off the bench in the Lakers’ loss to Portland earlier this season. He played five scoreless minutes Monday.
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