Lakers vs. Blazers Game 3 Postgame

Dominant James, Davis Power Lakers to 2-1 Lead

by Taylor Geas

It was touch-and-go for the Lakers in the beginning of Game 3 last night, until the team buckled up and shifted into high gear, cruising through with a 116-108 win over Portland.

LeBron James (38 pts, 12 reb, 8 ast) played with pure aggression, danced dangerously close to a triple-double, and moved to No. 3 in most three-pointers in playoff history. That can only mean one thing: Playoff LeBron has arrived. LBJ lit up every part of the floor — in only 34 minutes. Coach Frank Vogel was a big fan of what he saw out there from the King: “I loved it. He was living in the paint, living at the rim. He was drawing contact, getting to the FT line.” LeBron kept things steady for his team in the first half, driving through the lane repeatedly. And when the third quarter began, he was draining treys. This was the turning point for the Purple and Gold.

Right behind his pal was Anthony Davis (29 pts, 11 reb, 8 ast). In fact, LBJ and AD are the first Lakers teammates with 25 points and 10 rebounds in a playoff game since the iconic duo, Shaq and Kobe, accomplished this in Game 7 of the 2002 West Finals vs the Kings. It seemed as though Davis was bottling up his vigor in the first half of this matchup only to his unleash his fury in part two of the game. AD punished anyone he encountered in the paint, found the sweet spots for his mid-range jumper and set a new playoff career best with 8 dimes.

Still, the Lakers struggled to find consistency knocking down shots, but their defense is: Locked. In. If Portland’s offense makes a mistake, LA’s defenders will capitalize. The Lakers guards are tenacious, and their bigs are quick. Tonight, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, (13 pts) Alex Caruso, (10 pts) and Danny Green (8 pts, 4 reb) protected the area well beyond the 3-point-arc, while Davis and Dwight Howard (10 reb) were speedy when it came to on-coming traffic in the lane.

Now, the Lakers’ success isn’t just the result of keeping things consistent but keeping things Fresh. AC Fresh has garnered the nickname, “secret weapon” from Coach Frank, and continues to prove why. Alex does the little things and he does them tirelessly. Last night, the little things included sprinting from perimeter to perimeter to cover the shooter, and luring the defender to the hoop, then making the smart pass to an open teammate. Without a doubt, he’s a key playmaker.

The Lakers will be back Monday night for Game 4. As the guys continue to sharpen their swords and improve specific aspects of their game, it’s clear this team has a deep roster of players that will show up and do their job.

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