----- Lebron James and Anthony Davis combine for 79 points as the LA Lakers end the Portland Trail Blazers with a 131-122 victory in Game five of their best-of-seven Western Conference first round playoff series.
Without Damian Lillard, the shorthanded Trail Blazers battled!
CJ McCollum led Portland with 36 points and Carmelo Anthony added 27, but it wasn't enough as the Trail Blazers' season came to an end with a 131-122 game five loss to the LA Lakers.
Anthony Davis scored a game-high 43 points and Lebron James finished with a triple-double 36 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists as the Lakers won four-straight games to closeout the series after the opening game loss to the Blazers.
Down 14 in the third quarter, Portland got to 100-97 on McCollum's layup and tied it on Anfernee Simon's 3-pointer to cap an 8-point run with 9:46 left. James answered with a three-pointer.
Gary Trent Jr.'s 3-pointer tied it at 109 with just under seven minutes to go. Again the Lakers held off Portland with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's three.
After Trent's 3-pointer closed it to 114-112 with 4:53 left, Davis had a personal 11-0 run to put Los Angeles up 123-112 and seal the win.
As the Blazers move into the off-season, there goal will be to get healthy and hope to make a deep run into the playoffs next year. Zach Collins missed most of the season due to shoulder surgery and now an upcoming surgery on his left ankle to repair a hairline fracture, Rodney Hood is still recovering from a ruptured Achilles, CJ McCollum is suffering from a broken back- L3 vertebral transverse process fracture (non-displaced), and Damian Lillard will need time to heel after suffering a sprained knee in the game four loss to the Lakers.
Aside from health, Portland has a number of questions involving their roster including both Hassan Whiteside and Carmelo Anthony, both of whom are set to become free agents.
For Melo, he made it clear following game five that he plans to play next year and he knows where he wants to be.
“I pray that it can be Portland, honestly,” Anthony said. "I think I’ve found a home in Portland. I got comfortable with the organization, I got comfortable with the guys on the team, they got comfortable with me, and at this point in my career, I do think that is the best fit for me.”
Anthony has found comfort playing for Terry Stotts and next to two guys who respect him in Lillard and McCollum.
“Whenever you find a situation that is comfortable and allows you to be who you are, you want to stay in that situation,” Anthony said. “There is no need to try different things when something is working.”
Up Next- Cancun.
Chad's Take- Thank God the season of injuries is over. Look forward to a healthy squad returning next season, whenever that may be.