In the second night of a back to back, the Los Angeles Lakers head to Portland to face the Trail Blazers at the Moda Center.
The Lakers, losers of 14 out of 15, are riding a five-game losing streak. The team has also lost every single road game in 2015. They are currently on a franchise-tying 10-game road losing streak. If they lose to the Blazers Wednesday night, they would have a new franchise record, which is something the Lakers should not be proud of.
While their opponents are top four in the West with a 35-17 record, they haven’t been stellar of late either. The Blazers have gone 3-4 in their last seven games and have lost nine out of the last 14. Part of their struggle has been injuries and Damian Lillard’s field goal percentage plummeting. Despite averaging 20.9 points, the All-Star point guard has been shooting 38.1 percent from the field over the last month.
However, in two meetings against the Lakers this season, Lillard has had remarkable outings. In the first battle, Lillard poured in 39 points, five assists, six rebounds, and two steals on 12 of 21 shooting. He scored 16 of his 39 in the fourth quarter to seal the deal for Portland.
The second meeting was much of the same. Lillard put in 34 points, seven assists, and three rebounds on 13 of 23 shooting. Half of his points came in the fourth quarter, as Lillard displayed yet another clutch performance against Los Angeles.
Therefore, coming in, the Lakers will have to focus on containing Lillard, especially in the fourth quarter, but that is easier said than done.
In their previous game, the Blazers notched a major road victory against the Houston Rockets. Lillard had an efficient game, scoring 23 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the field and 10 of 11 from the free-throw line.
The Lakers played Tuesday night and lost to the reeling Denver Nuggets at home, 106-96. Carlos Boozer led the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds but it wasn’t enough, as Ty Lawson got loose for 32 points and 16 assists.
In the midst of all this losing, the Lakers second unit continues to be a bright spot, as the bench recorded 58 points in the loss to Denver. Over the last six games, L.A.’s bench has been averaging an outlandish 52.7 points a game. Veterans, such as Carlos Boozer, Nick Young, and Jeremy Lin, have been coming off the bench which is the main reason behind the second unit’s success.
The Blazers have won the last four out of five against the Lakers and come in with the fourth best home record in the league at 22-5. The Lakers will look to end their road losing streak along with their overall losing streak, but it will be an extremely tough task, as the Blazers are well rested with their last game coming on Sunday, while the Lakers will play the second of a back to back.
The game tips off at 10 pm Eastern Standard Time.