LeBron James, Austin Reaves power Lakers over Trail Blazers

Sometimes it’s a quick glance back over his shoulder before turning the other way. Other times it’s a fake with the ball or maybe with the head.

Whatever it is, the result was increasingly the same – Austin Reaves found a way to create enough space to do a play.

Following the playbooks of NBA greats like Hakeem Olajuwon on one possession and Steve Smith on the next (he even channeled a two-handed dunk from Charles Barkley), Reaves’ offensive acumen has made him a constant threat on the Lakers offense.

“Austin is just…he just loves to ride,” said trainer Darvin Ham. “Just a really versatile offensive player – he can do a lot of things on that end.”

In a game the team needed to win before embarking on a difficult six-game journey, Reaves scored a season-high 22 points in the Lakers’ 128-109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night at the Crypto.com Arena .

LeBron James had 31 points, Anthony Davis had 27, Thomas Bryant had 14, and Russell Westbrook finished the second and third quarters with three points as part of his 10 points.

For Reaves, it is the eighth time in the last nine games that he has scored at least 10 points, and for Davis it was his eighth straight game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.

It was the Lakers’ sixth win in their last eight games, giving them some momentum as they embarked on their longest trip of the season with stops in Milwaukee, Washington, Cleveland, Toronto, Philadelphia and Detroit.

For the second straight game, the Lakers built a huge second-half lead, and oddly enough, for the second straight game, the team celebrated with a fan winning a half-court contest before the start of the fourth quarter.

Lakers guard Austin Reaves throws a dunk against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Lakers guard Austin Reaves throws a dunk against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first quarter Wednesday at Crypto.com Arena.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

But unlike the Indiana Pacers game, when the Lakers pulled out a 17-point lead, the Lakers held out to Portland thanks to their stars.

Against the Trail Blazers, who played without Damian Lillard and ex-Lake Josh Hart, James was in perfect rhythm offensively. He made his first seven shots and powerfully slammed home the last one in that stretch. He finished with six threes, seven rebounds and eight assists — a rebound after a tough fourth quarter in Tuesday’s Lakers loss, when he shot two for eight.

He scored nine points in the fourth quarter, but it was Davis – who made just two shots against the Pacers in the final 12 minutes – who found another gear late. He made five of seven from the field and hit the free-throw line four times in the fourth quarter on his way to 14 points.

And though five Trail Blazers scored in double figures, led by Jerami Grant’s 27, only one other Portland player netted multiple field goals.

The Lakers were two starters behind, with guards Lonnie Walker IV and Troy Brown Jr. both being scratched before the game from left foot pain.

It forced the Lakers, who got Patrick Beverley back from a three-game suspension, to use their 12th different starting lineup.

“I think it’s mostly an indication of the circumstances,” Ham said before the game.

“I mean, we’ve had people with injuries. We let people come with diseases. I mean, there were a variety of reasons, and while you’re trying to find a consistent rotation, you’re going to go through with it. Especially not just me, we have these different lineups and everyone is healthy. You are forced to do different things at different times.”

A replacement for Wednesday’s starting lineup, Reaves once again showed the Lakers his value, a steady hand with the ability to break away when the team needed a bucket.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/lakers/story/2022-11-30/lebron-james-austin-reaves-power-lakers-over-trail-blazers LeBron James, Austin Reaves power Lakers over Trail Blazers

Emma Bowman

USTimesPost.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@ustimespost.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button