In a dominant performance, LeBron James showcased his scoring prowess, matching his season-high with 35 points, guiding the Los Angeles Lakers (7-6) to a decisive 107-95 win over the struggling Portland Trail Blazers (3-9) in a crucial In-Season Tournament matchup.
Anthony Davis contributed a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds, while the Lakers extended their undefeated streak in Group A to 3-0, solidifying their position as the only unbeaten Western Conference team in the tournament.
Facing a Trail Blazers team in the midst of a six-game losing streak, the Lakers capitalized on their advantage, building a lead as large as 17 points in the final quarter.
Despite being listed as questionable with a calf contusion, James not only started but flourished, tallying nine assists, including seven in the decisive fourth quarter, and sinking five 3-pointers.
Jerami Grant led the Blazers with 24 points, but the loss eliminated them from contention in their group, dropping to 1-2 in the tournament.
Maintaining their focus on point differential for group standings, the Lakers kept their starters in until the end, ensuring a comprehensive win after a recent setback against the Sacramento Kings.
D’Angelo Russell provided valuable support with 14 points, contributing to the Lakers’ balanced offensive effort.
For the injury-plagued Blazers, Deandre Ayton recorded a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Lakers’ determined performance.