Lakers Hammer Blazers, Take A 2-1 Series Lead

----- Lebron James and Anthony Davis combined for 67 points as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 116-108 Saturday night in Orlando to take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference first round playoff series.

The Lakers flexed their muscle on Saturday night!

Lebron James finished with 38 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists and Anthony Davis scored 23 of his 29 points in the second half as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 116-108 on Saturday night to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

Damian Lillard led Portland with 34 points and seven assists, CJ McCollum finished with 28, and Carmelo Anthony broke out of his shooting slump to score 20 points on 9-of-20 shooting.

Lillard did not appear to be limited from the dislocated left index finger suffered in game two.

The Blazers jumped out to a 24-15 lead on the hot shooting of Lillard, but the Lakers battled back to cut the deficit to 57-53 at halftime. The Lakers took control of the game in the third outscoring the Blazers 40-29 including a 10-0 run to extend their lead to 89-78 with 2:30 to play in the quarter.

Portland trimmed the deficit to 93-90 with 9:34 to play in the game, but Anthony Davis would return and lead the Lakers on a 12-6 run to put the game away. Davis scored 12 points in the fourth.

The Blazers hot start on offense was followed by a number of missed shots in the fourth once again indicating the team may be exhausted after a grueling run through the seeding games. Lillard, McCollum, Anthony, and Jusuf Nurkic all played the entire fourth quarter and looked gassed by the end of the game.

“I don’t know if fatigue had anything to do with it, or not,” Portland Coach Terry Stotts said. “We didn’t make shots in the fourth quarter."

The Blazers connected on 41.1% of their shots including 12-of-35 from three-point range. The Lakers shot 50% from the field.

There was a major disparity at the free throw line in game three. The Lakers attempted 43 free throws while the Blazers shot 19. In the first half, Portland was 8-for-8 while Los Angeles was 18-for-31.

“As far as the free-throw differential, particularly at halftime, I don’t know if I’ve ever been in a game where it was that big,” Stotts said. “It certainly had an impact on the first half. The difference was 23, I think, so that had an impact on the game.”

Up Next- The Blazers and Lakers will play game four Monday evening inside the bubble in Orlando. The game is scheduled to tip off at 6:00 PM.

Chad's Take- Lebron James shot 17 free throws, the Blazers 19.