EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Damian Lillard’s dislocated finger seemed fine, but the Portland Trail Blazers weren’t very healthy on the scoreboard.
What You Need To Know
- The Lakers defeated the Trail Blazers in Game 3 of their playoff series, 116-108
- L.A. now leads the series 2-1
- LeBron James scored 38 points in 34 minutes
- Anthony Davis finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds
The Lakers again stymied the high-flying Portland offense Saturday to win Game 3 of their first-round playoff series, 116-108.
After some bizarre free-throw woes in the first half, the Lakers were carried to victory by their two all-stars and took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
LeBron James came out with a scoring mind-set and finished with 38 points in 34 minutes. He was a little quiet in Game 2 with only 10 points — luckily, this was not the case in Game 3. James made four of eight three-point shots on the night and helped push the Lakers to a 40-point third quarter.
He wasn’t just a scorer. As the Lakers pulled away in the fourth, James fed Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis four alley-oop dunks on back-to-back possessions.
Davis was solid after a frustrating first half in which he made one basket and missed five free throws. The latter was uncharacteristic for a player who makes 85 percent of his free throw attempts this season.
Davis found his groove after halftime and finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds. He also showed some range in the fourth quarter by drilling long range jumpers on three consecutive possessions.
The Lakers’ defense again stopped a Trail Blazers team that averaged 126 points in its first nine games after the league restarted. Then they faced the Lakers and have since been reduced to a pedestrian 98.7 points per game.
One late possession summarized the Lakers’ defensive effort as Davis and Danny Green each had blocked shots, one right after the other.
Lillard scored 34 points and made five three-pointers after dislocating his left index finger in the third quarter of Game 2. He had no scoring help beyond CJ McCollum (28 points) and Carmelo Anthony (20 points).
Portland’s reserves totaled only six points. Their backups don't run deep, and it certainly showed in Game 3.
The Lakers didn’t do themselves any favors in the first half, amassing 31 free throw attempts but converting only 18 of them (58 percent). It’s a season-long area of concern for a team that was 28th out of 30 NBA teams in free throw percentage.
The Lakers, however, overturned a 57-53 halftime deficit thanks to their two stars. Game 4 is scheduled for Monday, when the Lakers could take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Mike Bresnahan is the Lakers analyst for Spectrum SportsNet.