Trail Blazers Try To Even The Series Versus Lakers Monday Night In Game 4

by Casey Holdahl
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After losing Games 2 and 3, the Portland Trail Blazers will try to even their first round playoff series versus the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 4 Monday night at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World of Sports campus on the grounds of the Walt Disney World Resort outside of Orlando.

"I expect a great effort. Down 2-1, we want to even the series. I expect us to come out and play very good basketball," said Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. "We did that (in Game 3) for three and a half quarters. It got away from us at the end of the fourth quarter. Against a team like the Lakers, we can’t afford to have lulls like we did at the beginning of the third quarter and at the end of the third quarter."

Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

SERIES HISTORY

REGULAR SEASON ALL-TIME: Lakers lead, 122-108
IN PORTLAND: Trail Blazers lead, 70-45
AT THE LAKERS: Lakers lead, 77-38
PLAYOFFS ALL-TIME: Lakers lead, 34-17
IN PORTLAND: Trail Blazers lead, 11-11
AT THE LAKERS: Lakers lead, 23-6

FIRST ROUND SERIES NOTES

Game #3 - Los Angeles 116, Portland 108 — August 22, AdventHealth Arena, Orlando, Florida

The Lakers took a 2-1 series lead by means of a 116-108 victory over the Trail Blazers in Game 3 ... Portland held a 57-53 lead at halftime, but were outscored in the third period, 40-29 ... The Lakers outrebounded Portland, 55-38, and attempted 43 free throws (made 28) to the Trail Blazers 19 (made 18) ... Damian Lillard led Portland with 34 points (8-20 FG, 5-11 3-PT, 13-14 FT), five rebounds and seven assists ... CJ McCollum recorded 28 points (12-25 FG, 4-12 3-PT), eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block ... Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points to go with six rebounds, two assists, four steals and one block ... Anthony had 13 points in the third quarter on 6-of-6 shooting (1-1 3-PT) ... LeBron James led the Lakers with a game-high 38 points (11-18 FG, 4-8 3-PT, 12- 17 FT), 12 rebounds, eight assists and two steals ... Anthony Davis had 29 points (11-18 FG, 7-14 FT), 11 rebounds, eight assists, two steals and three blocks.

Game #2 - Los Angeles 111, Portland 88 — August 20, AdventHealth Arena, Orlando, Florida

Los Angeles defeated Portland, 111-88, to even the first round series between the Lakers and the Trail Blazers, 1-1 ... Portland was held to 40.0% shooting from the field and 8-of-29 shooting (27.6%) from the three-point line ... Anthony Davis led the Lakers with a game-high 31 points (13-21 FG, 3-4 3-PT, 2-2 FT) to go with 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block ... Damian Lillard had 18 points (6-14 FG, 1-7 3-PT, 5-5 FT) for the Trail Blazers to go with three rebounds, one assist and one steal ... Lillard left the game in the third quarter with a left index finger dislocation ... CJ McCollum had 13 points, five rebounds and three assists ... Jusuf Nurkic had nine points, seven rebounds and two assists ... Hassan Whiteside recorded six points, nine rebounds and three blocks off the bench ... LeBron James had 10 points, six rebounds and seven assists in 27

Game #1 - Portland 100, Los Angeles 93 — August 18, AdventHealth Arena, Orlando, Florida

The Trail Blazers jumped out to a 1-0 series lead by defeating the top-seeded Lakers, 100-93 ... Portland closed the game on a 19-6 run over the final 6:38 of the game ... Damian Lillard led Portland with 34 points (9-21 FG, 6-13 3-PT, 10-10 FT), five rebounds, five assists and one block ... CJ McCollum had 21 points (8-20 FG, 3-8 3-PT, 2-4 FT), five rebounds and one steal ... Jusuf Nurkic logged 16 points, 15 rebounds and three assists ... Hassan Whiteside had seven points (3-4 FG), eight rebounds and five blocks in 26 minutes off the bench ... Whiteside became the third player in Trail Blazers history to have five blocks in a game as a reserve ... LeBron James led the Lakers with 23 points, 17 rebounds and 16 assists ... Anthony Davis had 28 points (8-24 FG, 0-5 3-PT, 12-17 FT), 11 rebounds, one assist and two blocks ... Portland had four players finish with five fouls ... The Trail Blazers made 13 three-pointers (of 34) while the Lakers connected on five threes (of 32).

PLAYOFF NEWS AND NOTES

SEVEN IN A ROW: With a 126-122 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Aug. 15 in the first ever Western Conference Play-in game, the Trail blazers secured a berth in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. It marks Portland’s seventh straight postseason appearance and the 36th trip to the playoffs in franchise history. It is the second-longest postseason streak in franchise history (21, 1983-2003) and is tied for the second-longest active streak in the NBA (Houston - 8, Toronto - 7).

STOTTS LEADING THE WAY: Terry Stotts has led the Trail Blazers to the postseason for the seventh consecutive season, making him the first coach in franchise history to make eight straight playoff appearances. Stotts coached Portland to the Western Conference Finals in 2019 and has helped Portland reach the Western Conference Semifinals three times over the last six postseasons. Stotts won an NBA Championship as an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.

SETTING THE TONE: The Trail Blazers have won each of the last two playoff series in which they won Game 1 (2019 First Round vs. OKC, 2014 First Round vs. Houston).

BIG GAME DAME: Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 34 points (9-21 FG, 6-13 3-PT, 10-10 FT) against the Lakers in Game 1 on Aug. 18. Lillard has gone for 30 or more points 16 times during his playoff career, including a postseason career-high 50 points against the Thunder in the series-clinching Game 5 of the first round last year. He is one of 25 players in NBA history to have scored 50 points in a playoff game.

PLAYOFF BEAST: Jusuf Nurkic recorded 16 points (4-11 FG, 1-2 3-PT, 7-9 FT), 15 rebounds and three assists against the Lakers in Game 1 on Aug. 18. He had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first quarter alone, making him the first player to have a double-double in the first quarter of a playoff game since Shaquille O'Neal in 2001.

MELO DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Carmelo Anthony recorded 11 points (3-11 FG, 2-5 3-PT, 3-4 FT), 10 rebounds and five assists in Game 1 against the Lakers on Aug. 18. It was his 16th career postseason double-double and his first since May 5, 2013.

McBUCKETS: CJ McCollum had 21 points (8-20 FG, 3-8 3-PT, 2-4 FT) against the Lakers in Game 1. He has scored 20-plus points in nine of his last 11 playoff games, including each of the last four.

ON THE BIG STAGE: Jusuf Nurkic has played in six playoff games during his career, posting averages of 10.8 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.00 blocks and 1.00 steals in 24.0 minutes per game. He is one of four active NBA players with career postseason averages of at least 10.0 points, 9.0 rebounds,1.0 assist, 1.0 steal and 1.0 block (Green/Antetokounmpo/Davis).

FIRST YEAR START: Playing in the first playoff game of his career, Wenyen Gabriel started in Game 1 against the Lakers on Aug. 18. He is the first Trail Blazers rookie to start a playoff game since Rudy Fernandez and Nic Batum in the 2009 postseason.

AS THE EIGHT SEED: The Trail Blazers entered the 2020 Playoffs as the eight seed in the Western Conference. It is just the third time in 36 playoff appearances that the Trail Blazers have entered the postseason as the eight seed. Portland lost to the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the 2017 NBA playoffs as the eight seed and fell to the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 1989 NBA Playoffs as the eight seed.

DAME IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Damian Lillard averaged 26.9 points in 16 games during the 2019 NBA Playoffs, marking the fifth-highest scoring average in a postseason in franchise history and the highest for any player that played in multiple series. Lillard averaged 33.0 points in a five game series win over the Thunder in the first round in 2019, which is the highest scoring average for a series in Portland history.

CLIMBING THE RANKS: Damian Lillard (1,300 points) and CJ McCollum (921 point) rank fourth and fifth on the Trail Blazers all-time postseason scoring list.

BENCH BOOST: Hassan Whiteside had seven points (3-4 FG, 1-4 FT), eight rebounds and five blocks in 26 minutes off the bench against the Lakers in Game 1. Whiteside is the third player in franchise history to record five blocks in a playoff game while coming off the bench.

GETTING STOPS: The Trail Blazers held the Lakers to 93 points in Game 1 on Aug. 18. It is the second fewest points the Trail Blazers have allowed during the 2019-20 season (regular season and playoffs combined). Portland held the Knicks to 87 points on Dec. 10.

FREQUENT FOE: The Trail Blazers are taking on the Lakers in the playoffs for the 12th time in franchise history. Portland has played Los Angeles in the postseason more than any other opponent, with seven series against Phoenix being the next closest.

SHARK ATTACK: CJ McCollum averaged 26.4 points in seven games against the Nuggets in the 2019 Western Conference Semifinals, marking the 10th-highest scoring average for a playoff series in Trail Blazers history. McCollum scored 20-plus points in 12 of 16 games during the 2019 playoffs, including four games with 30-plus points. McCollum’s eight career games of 30-plus points in the playoffs are the third-most in franchise history behind Damian Lillard (16) and Clyde Drexler (14).

LAKESHOW HISTORY: Portland has advanced twice past the Lakers in the postseason, while the Lakers have won the other nine series. This series marks the seventh time the teams have squared off in the first round of the playoffs. The Trail Blazers are 1-5 in first round playoff series against the Lakers, with the series win coming in 1992 when Portland last advanced to the NBA Finals.

NEUTRAL SITE: While there will be designated home teams throughout the postseason, the 2020 NBA Playoffs will be played in their entirety in Orlando, Florida. Portland previously beat the Lakers in an away game in the First Round of the 1992 Playoffs played at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on May 3, 1992.

SEASON SERIES NOTES

• The Lakers won the season series in 2019-20, 2-1.

• In three games against the Lakers this season, Damian Lillard averaged 36.0 points (50.8% FG, 39.4% 3-PT, 87.9% FT), 6.0 rebounds and 9.0 assists. Lillard scored 48 points (17-30 FG, 7-12 3-PT, 7-8 FT) to go with nine rebounds, 10 assists and two steals in Portland's 127-119 victory in Los Angeles on Jan. 31.

• CJ McCollum averaged 17.3 points (41.2% FG, 29.2% 3-PT, 75.0% FT), 3.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds in three games against Los Angeles this season.

• In two games against the Lakers this season, Carmelo Anthony averaged 14.0 points (33.3% FG, 40.0% 3-PT, 88.9% FT), 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

• LeBron James averaged 24.7 points (45.0% FG, 38.1% 3-PT, 63.2% FT), 7.3 rebounds and 11.3 assists in three games against the Trail Blazers this season.

• In three games against Portland this season, Anthony Davis averaged 32.0 points (55.9% FG, 40.0% 3-PT, 82.8% FT), 11.3 re- bounds, 4.3 assists and 2.67 blocks. He had 37 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and five blocks against the Trail Blazers on Jan. 31.

PLAYOFF SERIES NOTES

• Portland and Los Angeles have played in the first round on six other occasions. The Trail Blazers beat the Lakers in the first round of the 1992 Playoffs on their way to an NBA Finals meeting with the Chicago Bulls. The Lakers won the other five first round meetings between the teams.

• The Trail Blazers and the Lakers are meeting in the postseason for the 12th time. Portland has advanced twice past the Lakers, while Los Angeles has won the other 10 series. The Trail Blazers other first win over the Lakers came in the 1977 Western Conference Finals, propelling Portland to a NBA Finals victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

• The Trail Blazers and Lakers last played each other in the postseason in the first round of the 2002 Playoffs. Portland's leading scorer that series was Rasheed Wallace while the Lakers were led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. Current Lakers forward LeBron James was 14 months away from being drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers while Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard was 11 years old.

• Portland and Los Angeles played met in the playoffs five times between 1997 and 2002.

• Portland is 6-18 all-time against Los Angles in the first round.

CONNECTIONS
• Los Angeles forward LeBron James and Portland forward Carmelo Anthony were the first and third picks of the 2003 NBA Draft. Along with Kyle Korver of the Milwaukee Bucks, they are the only active players remaining from their draft class.

• Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (sixth) and Lakers forward Anthony Davis (first) were both lottery picks in the 2012 NBA Draft.

• Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza won the NBA Championship with the Lakers in 2009.

INJURY NOTES

Nassir Little (dehydration recovery) is out. CJ McCollum (vertebral fracture) is available for Thursday's game vs. the LA Lakers.

Zach Collins will miss the rest of the playoffs with a left ankle Malleolar stress reaction. Rodney Hood (left ruptured Achilles tendon) is not with the team in Orlando and will not participate in any scrimmages nor games the rest of the season. Trevor Ariza (personal reasons) and Caleb Swanigan (personal reasons) are not with the team and will not play in Orlando.

For the Lakers, Rajon Rondo (back spasm) is doubtful; Anthony Davis (sore left ankle) and LeBron James (sore right groin) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are probable.

BROADCAST NOTES

Monday’s game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest. The game will also air on TNT. The game cam also be heard on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the Deschutes Brewery Trail Blazers Radio Network.

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