Trail Blazers Lose Game To Lakers And Hood For The Season

by Casey Holdahl
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PORTLAND -- Games between the Trail Blazers and Lakers at the Moda Center are almost always eventful, though that wasn't necessarily a good thing this time around.

Starting forward Rodney Hood suffered a season-ending injury and head coach Terry Stotts was ejected for the first time in this career in the process of the Trail Blazers losing 136-113 to the Lakers in front of a sellout crowd of 19,912 Friday night at the Moda Center.

The Trail Blazers are now 9-14 overall and 4-5 at home this season.

Despite the Lakers shooting 70 percent from the field while shooting half as many free throws, the Trail Blazers were able to make it a game for the first quarter. However, it is debatable whether anyone rooting for the Blazers Friday night much cared about the score at that point after Rodney Hood left the game with an Achilles injury, which the team would later confirm as a ruptured left Achilles.

"It's tough," said Damian Lillard. "You hate to see injuries in the league, period, but you hate to see one of your teammates go down with an injury like that, especially a starter and somebody that's a really good person. Having a great season, fitting in really well with our team and a big part of what we do. You feel for him personally more than anything. Just sad to see that happen to him."

Things would go downhill rapidly from there. The Lakers would go on a 15-0 run to take a 58-39 lead with 7:14 to play in the first half, and from there on, the game was little more than an exercise in Portland trying to trim the lead to single digits, only to have Los Angeles push the advantage back to a comfortable margin.

"The priority was to keep them out of the paint, we didn't do that early," said Stotts. "But they made their runs by shooting threes. Rondo hit two and LeBron (James) hit one that got some separation in the first half. LeBron got going in the second half, so they shot a great percentage from three and so when they're scoring in the paint and scoring from the free throw line and scoring from three, it's a pretty good offense."

Not that everyone on Portland's bench was around to see the end, as Stotts was ejected for the first time in his head coaching career in the third quarter after arguing a foul call against Kent Bazemore on Anthony Davis. Replays would show little to no contact from Bazemore, but that didn't stop referee Tre Maddox from assessing Stotts two technicals while he was being restrained by his assistants.

"I'm not going to talk about the officiating," said Stotts. "Obviously I didn't agree with some of the calls, but there's no point in going into the frustration or my disagreements with the officiating. It doesn't do any good."

And there wasn't much good to be spared Friday night regardless. Portland never got closer than within 11 points and trailed by as many as 27 in the second half before the game mercifully ended with a 23-point margin of victory for the road team.

TOP PERFORMERS

Damian Lillard shot 50 percent from the field and 9-of-11 from the free throw line for 29 points to go with eight assists and seven rebounds in 40 minutes.

Hassan Whiteside posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds while also logging three steals, two assists and a block in 32 minutes.

Carmelo Anthony, Anfernee Simons and CJ McCollum all finished with 15 points and Kent Bazemore rounded out Portland's double-digit scorers with 10 points in 25 minutes.

Anthony Davis led all scorers with 39 points on 12-of-21 shooting from the field and 13-of-15 shooting from the free throw line to go with nine rebounds, three blocks and two assists in 32 minutes. LeBron James went 11-of-23 from the field for 31 points while also handing out eight assists and snatching seven rebounds in 33 minutes.

NOTABLE

• The Trail Blazers shot 86.2% from the FT line (25-of-29) while the Lakers shot 81.8% from the FT line (27-of-33).

• Portland dished out 20 assists, marking their 12th straight game recording 20+ assists.

• The Trail Blazers forced the Lakers into 19 turnovers, tied for the second-most by a Portland opponent this season.

• Portland’s nine steals tied their second-highest total of the season.

• The Trail Blazers had four offensive rebounds while the Lakers had three offensive boards.

• Portland had six players score in double figures.

QUOTABLE

"Just got to keep moving forward, we've got a season to play. As disappointing as it is to lose players to injuries, we have a team and we gotta just keep competing and playing. You don't have any other choice. You have disappointment for that player, that's why I don't think anyone is in there feeling sorry for us and the team. I think everyone's feeling sorry for Rodney or Zach or Nurk or whatever it is, you feel for the player. But as a team we have a job to do, and we gotta go out and compete and try to win games." -- Terry Stotts

HIGHLIGHTS

NEXT UP

The Trail Blazers will only have one day to regroup before returning to the Moda Center to host the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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