10 Things to Know: Lakers vs. Trail Blazers
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers look for some redemption against the Portland Trail Blazers.
1) The Lakers have won back-to-back contests, both at Staples Center, after dispatching Orlando on Sunday, 111-95. Los Angeles played its best defensive quarter of the year to roll past the Magic by holding them to nine points on 2-of-20 shooting in the third.
Joey Ramirez recaps the Lakers big defensive 3rd quarter, and win over Orlando. pic.twitter.com/MFJOm6d00Q— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 9, 2017
2) Rookie Brandon Ingram has been one of the key Lakers in these wins, tying his career-high of 17 points in both contests. He was particularly effective late, scoring 23 of his 34 total points in the fourth quarter.
3) Ingram’s fellow second-overall pick, D’Angelo Russell, has found his shooting lately, averaging 20.8 points in his last five games. Russell has been making it happen with all facets of his game during this stretch, also putting up 5.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals.
4) Since missing two games for the birth of his first child, Julius Randle has shown his son that Dad is pretty good at his job by scoring double figures in each of the following eight contests. Like Russell, Randle has been putting his entire skill set on display, tallying 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists in the win over the Magic.
5) This game is a rematch between teams that saw each other just five days ago up in Oregon. The Lakers built their lead as high as 14 points in that contest but the Trail Blazers eventually worked their way back into it, outscoring L.A. by 20 in the second half.
6) The Blazers are coming off one of the biggest shootouts in the league this year, having fallen to Detroit in double-overtime, 125-124. C.J. McCollum was blistering with his shot, finishing with 35 points and hitting the tying 3-pointer at the end of the first overtime. However, his game-winning attempt in the next period was off the mark.
7) McCollum has been an absolute flamethrower over his last four games, averaging 35.0 points while shooting 53.3 percent. He has two 35- and one 43-point games during this stretch, making him the league’s second-leading scorer of the 2017 calendar year.
8) Of course, the Blazers also have another dangerous guard in two-time All-Star Damian Lillard. The NBA’s seventh-leading scorer (26.6 ppg) has been a thorn for the Lakers in the past, as he averages the third-most points in his career against L.A. (26.3)
9) Mason Plumlee narrowly missed out on the first triple-double of his career on Sunday, finishing with eight points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. Though he is 10th in the NBA in field goal percentage (54.8), the Duke product’s looks simply weren’t going down as he shot 4-of-12 from the field and missed both of his free throw tries.
10) Putting up points hasn’t been an issue for the Blazers, who are fifth in the NBA in scoring (108.0). It’s the other side of the ball that’s given them trouble, as they allow the third-most points to opponents (111.5).
Lakers: D’Angelo Russell (sore left knee), Julius Randle (sprained left ring finger), Luol Deng (right biceps tendonitis) and Tarik Black (sore right ankle) are probable. Larry Nance Jr. (bone bruise, left knee) is out.
Trail Blazers: Festus Ezeli (left knee) is out.
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW