PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Damian Lillard scored 25 points before sitting out the fourth quarter and the Portland Trail Blazers took advantage of the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers for a 105-90 victory on Saturday night.
Jusuf Nurkic added 15 points and 17 rebounds for the Blazers, who led by as many as 34 points despite playing the second of a back-to-back.
Former Blazer Carmelo Anthony had 12 points off the bench for the Lakers, who were without LeBron James because of an abdominal strain.
Leading scorer Anthony Davis was questionable for the Lakers going into the game with a thumb strain. He started but played just seven minutes before leaving with a stomach illness.
Russell Westbrook, who was averaging 20.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 8.1 assists, shot 1 for 13 and finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
The Blazers were coming off a 110-106 victory over the Indiana Pacers the night before that snapped a three-game losing streak.
Lillard had been in a slump with 17.8 points per game to open the season, well off his average from last season. He had been shooting just 21.7% from 3-point range.
But Lillard hit a 3-pointer to open the game and he made two of his first three attempts. He also hit a 3-pointer for Portland’s first points in the second half, and finished with six 3s on 14 attempts.
Anfernee Simons’ follow shot capped a 13-0 run that put Portland up 25-10 early and the rout was on. The Blazers outscored Los Angeles 36-14 in the first quarter.
Although their offense cooled off a bit in the second quarter, the Blazers still had a 51-36 lead at halftime.
Norman Powell’s basket put the Blazers up 69-44 in the third quarter. The Lakers pulled their starters before the final period and fans headed for the doors early.
Lillard reached 17,000 points.
Lakers: Anthony shared a warm embrace with former teammate CJ McCollum in warmups before the game. … The 14 first-quarter points were a season low for the Lakers this season. … No Lakers were in double figures in the first half. … The 34-point deficit was the largest for the Lakers this season.
Trail Blazers: The Blazers confirmed Saturday that the team has retained an outside firm to investigate ”concerns” about the workplace environment involving non-player staff. Both The Athletic and Yahoo Sports reported Friday night that the probe is in response to allegations over workplace misconduct against Neil Olshey, the team’s president of basketball operations.
Lakers: Host Charlotte on Monday night.
Trail Blazers: Open a four-game road trip on Tuesday against the Clippers.
Source: Yahoo Sports