Blazer Banter

Blazers, Aldridge And Lillard, Punk Lakers On April Fools’ Day

(AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

(AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

What began as an up-tempo free-flowing offensive game for both teams ended up as a one-sided beatdown as Portland’s star power was too much for Hollywood.

The Lakers are the team without the stars and Portland’s All-Stars were too bright for the B or C-movie that are the 2013-14 Lakers.

Damian Lillard scored 34 points, dished 8 assists and grabbed 3 steals while LaMarcus Aldridge scored 31 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and passed out six assists of his own. Other Blazers had solid games on their way to 124 points but it was Portland’s All-Stars that helped them put the game away in the second half.

That, and some defense.

The Blazers got off to a hot start, making four of their first five three pointers and getting into a good rhythm. Unlike the previous meeting in Portland, the Blazers were off to a hot start. Like the loss in Portland, the Lakers also had a great offensive first half.

The two biggest reasons that the Lakers were able to score so well against the Blazers were the orchestration of 40-year old Steve Nash and the incomparable shot-making of Nick “Swaggy P” Young.

Aldridge and Lillard also started to heat up towards end of the first half, particularly in the second quarter. Aldridge scored 12 points and Lillard has 11 in the second period to help the Blazers take a two-point lead into halftime after the Lakers led by as much as 7.

Because of starting point guard Kendall Marshall picking up two early fouls, Mike D’Antoni turned to the former two-time MVP who ran the Lakers offense with great fluidity. The biggest beneficiary of Nash’s direction was Young who made his first 8 shots. Young also had his fair share of tough attempts that went in anyway.

The Blazers defense was much better in the second half as Young started to come more or less back to earth and Nash had to leave the game as TNT reported that he was too broken down to return to the game. The Lakers shot 37 percent from the field and 31 percent from three in the second half.

Aldridge was going to work in the post and it forced the Lakers to double him which opened up even more clean looks from the three-point line. The Blazers got a healthy 29 three-point attempts, making 13 of them with 9 of the makes coming from Nicolas Batum and Lillard.

Portland’s bench provided needed energy to help the Blazers stay close with the Lakers super-nova shooting. Will Barton and Thomas Robinson continue to look more comfortable in their roles off the bench and Mo Williams did a good job pacing the unit. Barton finished with 8 points and five rebounds while Robinson finished with 7 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.

Batum was also instrumental in Portland’s efficient offensive night going 4/5 from the three-point line, finishing with 16 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds.

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Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He started writing about NBA Basketball for SwishScout.com before being the Sports Reporter Intern for TrailBlazers.com. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

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