Lakers haven’t any reply for Lillard in loss to Trail Blazers

LeBron James labored out laborious after the Lakers had accomplished their shoot-around Monday morning, working within the put up, working to the three-point line, throwing down dunks, pull-up jumpers, his sweat all around the Moda Center courtroom.

But James didn’t play within the recreation later that evening in opposition to the Portland Trail Blazers, lacking his third straight recreation with left ankle soreness. With Wednesday evening’s recreation in opposition to the Pelicans at Arena being the Lakers’ final recreation earlier than the All-Star break, Lakers coach Darvin Ham was requested if James would play then.

“Yeah,” Ham mentioned, “in all likelihood he should be available then.”

The Lakers, with six new gamers that they’ve traded for within the final 3 ½ weeks, might have used James in opposition to a Trail Blazers that put them in a 27-point gap behind scorching All-Star level guard Damian Lillard.

The Lakers had no solutions for Lillard, who had 40 factors, six rebounds and 5 assists in pushing LA to a 127-115 defeat to Portland.

Anthony Davis had 19 factors and 20 rebounds for the Lakers, however it was nothing in comparison with Lillard going 13-for-23 from the sector and eight-for-14 from three-point vary.

Dennis Schroder had an off-night, going one-for-seven from the sector for simply two factors. D’Angelo Russell had 16 factors and 4 assists and Malik Beasley had 22 factors off the bench.

But that wasn’t almost sufficient to cease the Lakers from shedding for the fourth time of their final 5 video games.

The final time the Lakers have been right here they rallied from a 25-point deficit to win that recreation.

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Not this time.

Not with the Lakers unable to cease the Blazers from drilling three-pointer after three-pointer after three-pointer.

The Trail Blazers shot 48.9% from the three-point line, a giant motive why the Lakers misplaced.

The recreation was vital for the Lakers as a result of the Trail Blazers are forward of them within the Western Conference standings, making 13th-place LA having to climb over Portland, Oklahoma City and Utah earlier than it might safe a spot within the play-in recreation as a prime 10 staff.

“Anytime you get to step on the floor and have an opportunity to get a win, I think you have to take every game seriously and value the opportunity, especially with this new collection of players, the way we are currently,” Ham mentioned.

The Lakers have 24 regular-season video games left to get it proper, or they are going to be watching one other lengthy offseason with out making the playoffs.

The final of the Lakers to talk with the media was Mo Bamba, the 7-0 middle who was acquired from the Magic for Patrick Beverley, doing so Monday after the staff’s shoot-around earlier within the day.

Bamba didn’t play as a result of he’s serving the final of his four-game suspension for an on-court altercation with Minnesota guard Austin Rivers. But when Bamba is offered to play on Wednesday evening, he thinks the transition might be clean.

He known as James and Davis the “Three 6 Mafia, a nickname “I gave them,” and since the 2 of them are so good, Bamba thinks “continuity is really easy” to come back by.

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He additionally has had previous relationships with D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, Troy Brown Jr. and Lonnie Walker IV, and that additionally will pace up their continuity.

“So, there’s continuity there as far as familiarity,” Bamba mentioned. “Obviously it’s different when you get on the court, but I don’t think it will be too much of a challenge.”

Bamba appeared in 40 video games for the Magic this season, averaging 7.3 factors, 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 17 minutes per recreation.

He additionally had proven the power to knock down three-pointers, making 39.8% of his threes this season and 36% over his profession.

“Again, just his ability to protect the rim and his ability to stretch the floor,” Ham mentioned. “He’s another young, very young, high-level player with a huge upside. Our coaches are excited to get to work with him and we’re excited to add him into the mix. I think it’s going to be great.”