----- Kyle Kuzma scored 24 points and Lebron James finished with 21 points and 16 assists as the Los Angels Lakers topped the Portland Trail Blazers 128-120 Saturday night at Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.
And then there was one.
The Portland Trail Blazers are now down to one healthy center on their roster after Skal Labissiere exited Saturday night's game against the Lakers with a left knee injury early in the first quarter. Results of Labissiere's MRI are "pending" according to Blazers Coach Terry Stotts. The Blazers will likely have to call up Moses Brown from G League to give the team some much-needed bodies on the bench.
The Lakers went on to get a 128-120 win handing the Blazers their third-straight loss.
“I mean, it’s tough any time you lose a teammate to an injury," Damian Lillard said in regards to Skal's injury. "Just because you don’t know how serious it could be or how much time he’ll miss. It’s a guy who’s been in our rotation all season. It hurts even more, especially with us already dealing with so many injuries."
Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 24 points, Lebron James finished with 21 points and 16 assists, and Anthony Davis added 20 points and nine rebounds.
“Yeah, I’m just healthy now,” Kuzma said of his performance. “I’m confident in my body. I took a little bit of time off, sitting out for five games and really just self-collected what I needed to do and got it done.”
Kuzma scored 20 points in the first half as the Lakers cruised to a 71-64 lead. LA quickly extended their lead to 85-75 early in the third quarter on a Davis three-pointer, but Portland responded with an 11-0 run to take an 86-85 advantage on a CJ McCollum three forcing a Frank Vogel timeout.
The Lakers responded by closing out the quarter on an 18-9 run to take control of the game.
The Lakers had a 72-39 edge in bench points, 60-40 edge with points in the paint, and 21-8 in fast break points. LA connected on 51.6% of their field goals and had a 44-39 edge in rebounding.
Lillard led Portland (14-19) with 31 points, Hassan Whiteside finished with 19 points and 16 rebounds, and McCollum scored 18. Anthony Tolliver scored 12 points off the bench and Anfernee Simons had another strong performance with 14 points and six rebounds.
Up Next- The Trail Blazers host the Phoenix Suns Monday night at Moda Center. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7:00 PM.
Chad's Take- With Skal's injury, the Trail Blazers are down to one healthy center.