The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips as Western Conference heavyweights LA Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers search for a slump-busting performance.
14:00 (AEDT), Sat 27th Feb @ Staples Center, Los Angeles
History: Played 284: Lakers 158 V Trail Blazers 126
Last meeting: December 28, 2020: Trail Blazers 115 d Lakers 107 at Staples Center
Final Thoughts: LA Lakers are striving to climb out of an AD-sized hole when they host Portland Trail Blazers, who are striving to snap a losing run of their own.
The 22-11 Lakers have slumped to four straight losses – and third place in the West – with Anthony Davis sidelined. They were blown out 114-89 by the conference-leading Jazz two days ago; LeBron James (19 pts, 4 reb, 4 ast) top-scored finally playing reduced minutes.
Denis Schroder’s absence has also hit the offence hard. The point guard looks set to return for this clash.
The 18-13 Trail Blazers have dropped three straight to the Wizards, Suns and Nuggets – after winning their previous six games. They are battling a heavy injury toll with Zach Collins and Harry Giles joining stars CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic on the unavailable list.
The Western Conference’s player of the week last week, Damian Lillard continues to shine. ‘Dame’ averaged 32 points and 11.5 assists in his last six games. Enes Kanter and sharpshooter Gary Trent Jr have also been solid stepping into the starting line-up for Nurkic and McCollum.
Blazers shoot for season’s second road win over Lakers
The Blazers gained some early revenge for their 4-1 first-round playoffs exit at the hands of the Lakers in August, upsetting the champs 117-105 at Staples Center during the first week of the 2021 season.
Damian Lillard have 31 points and 5 assists in the come-from-behind victory, while Gary Trent Jr scored 28 points off the bench. Lebron and Denis Schroder combined for 53 points, but Davis was held to just 13.
It was the Blazers’ 19th win from their last 23 regular-season games against the Lakers.
Portland are bottom-six in the league for points conceded per game. The Lakers rank third in the NBA, giving up 10 points less on average. The Blazers score three points more per game than the champs.
Chastened by their heavy defeat to Utah, the Lakers are a dangerous opponent. Schroder’s return is a big boost, too. But the Lakers just 9-7 at home and have covered just 14 of 33 games overall. The Blazers are 10-7 on the road and 17-14 ATS; they’re hard to pass up with a decent start.
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|Chicago Bulls V Phoenix Suns||Total – Over 226.5 @ $1.93|
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