Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James and bench propel Lakers to losing streak-snapping win against the Trail Blazers in Portland

With a 128-120 win in Portland, the Lakers snapped a four-game losing streak. Six players scored in double figures as they handed the Blazers their third straight loss.


Here are the biggest takeaways from a game that the Lakers dominated in transition and in the paint:

LeBron puts on a show

James finished this game with 21 points, 16 assists, and seven rebounds in 37 minutes while recording just one turnover. Before the team embarked on a 5-game homestand, he ensured the Lakers get back on track with a win on the road in Portland.

The league-leader in assists, James' 16 dimes ties a season-high.

Lakers' bench mob strikes in Portland

The Lakers' reserves exploded for a season-high 72 points with four bench players scoring in double figures. They outscored their counterparts by 33 points (72-39).

Kyle Kuzma was the team's top scorer with 24 points (9-17 FG's) in 30 minutes. This is back-to-back games now for Kuzma where he has scored 24 or more after also scoring 25 in the Christmas Day loss to the Clippers.

"A little bit frustrated and disappointed to have an injury like I had in USA [ stress reaction in his left foot he suffered while playing for USA Baskebtall in the offseason]. This [performance vs. the Trail Blazers] is what I expect from myself every game," Kuzma said.

Rajon Rondo finished with 15 points (6-8 FG's), four assists, and three rebounds in 18 minutes. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope recorded 13 points (4-7 FG's), two rebounds, and two assists in 32 minutes while Dwight Howard recorded a near double-double with 11 points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes.

Lillard, Whiteside shine but Blazers outplayed

The Blazers' best players from this one were Damian Lillard - 31 points, 9 assists - and Hassan Whiteside - 19 points, 16 rebounds, and four blocks.

The Lakers' biggest lead was 13 and even the final margin of defeat was just eight points, so the game never went out of hand but the Blazers were never in this one. The game only had 12 lead changes and 12 ties as the Blazers were outplayed by a large margin in multiple areas of the game.

Their 16 turnovers led to 15 Laker points while they scored eight on the Lakers' 11 turnovers. They were outscored by 13 (8-21) in fastbreak points and 20 (40-60) in points in the paint.

This defeat was the Blazers' third straight after they had four consecutive wins in mid-December.

More from NBA.com

LeBron James acknowledges the crowd after passing Kobe Bryant on the all-time scorers list
How soon can LBJ pass Kareem on all-time scoring list?
Kane Pitman
Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets
Is Brooklyn the team to beat?
Steve Aschburner
Jaren Jackson Jr., Kevin Porter Jr. and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are among the leading MIP candidates for 2021-22 NBA season
Our picks for this season's Most Improved Player
NBA.com Staff
Washington Wizards
Are retooled Wizards ready to take next step?
Yash Matange
Bradley Beal and Spencer Dinwiddie will play a big part in the Washington Wizards' hopes of reaching the postseason in the Eastern Conference.
What to make of the new-look Wizards
Kane Pitman
Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid.jpeg
Fact or Fiction: Pressing storylines facing 76ers
NBA.com Staff
More News