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10 Things to Know: Lakers at Trail Blazers (1/23/16)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers visit the Portland Trail Blazers.
1) Since rejoining the Lakers’ starting lineup two games ago, Julius Randle has gone to work posting double-doubles in both contests. Randle has 15 such games this year, which leads all sophomores.
2) Kobe Bryant will play his final game in Portland, the site of many memories, including his first playoff round in 1997 when the Lakers won in four games. Bryant also scored a series-high 65 points against the Blazers on March 16, 2007.
3) Unfortunately for the Lakers, recent matchups have favored Portland, which has beaten the purple and gold six straight times. Plus, each of their last five meetings has been decided by double digits.
4) These two teams are similar in that they both rely on their guards to provide scoring. The Lakers’ pick-and-roll ball handlers provide a league-high 20.3 points, while Portland’s are second (20.3).
5) The Trail Blazers also love to let the long ball fly. They hit the third-most 3-pointers in the league (10.2) and have two players — Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum —among the top 10 for individual triples.
6) On the other end, the Blazers prevent their opponents from getting out in transition, as they allow the second-fewest fast-break points in the league (10.1).
7) Portland’s starters and reserve have contrasting shooting clips. The starting five is hitting the NBA’s third-worst field goal percentage (43.3), while the bench ranks third-best (46.5).
8) However, the opening lineup also features one of the NBA’s top offensive weapons: Lillard. The 25-year-old ranks sixth in scoring (24.3), third in 3’s (3.0) and eighth in assists (7.0). However, he has averaged just 16.0 points and 4.7 assists while shooting 33.9 percent in his last four games.
9) McCollum has, seemingly out of nowhere, become one of the NBA’s top outside shooters. He has hit more jump shots (287) than any other player in the league and ranks second in pull-up scoring (9.4).
10) Portland has an unlikely Blazer leading the NBA in offensive rating: Ed Davis. A Laker last year, Davis’ rating is up to 127.7 after finishing fifth in his lone season with L.A.
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