The Lakers were looking to win their second consecutive game in a row against the Portland Trailblazers. The game went back and forth for the most part. It was sluggish at first for both teams, but the Blazers played well in the second half. It took the Lakers till the 4th qtr to really step it up defensively and pull out the win. Bryant led the way dropping 40pts. Howard contributed with another double-double with 19pts, and 16rbs. Its noticeable that Howard is starting to look healthier and he's getting some of his jumping ability back. Both Clark and World Peace had 11pts. Out of all the starters, Nash struggled the most only scoring 4pts. Most of his shots were short, but he did hit a couple of big shots. The bench was big as they contributed 26pts combined.
The Lakers defense wasn't very good throughout most of the game. They did however play well during the last couple of minutes in the 4th, thus cementing the win. Rookie star Lillard for the Blazers showed why he's the leading candidate for rookie of the year. The kid can flat out play. He's a rookie, but plays like a seasoned veteran. If the Lakers are to make a serious run for the playoffs, they must do a better job defensively, especially against teams that they should handle. Bryant has said that he guarantees a post-season birth. Mighty bold words, especially with the Lakers still out of the playoff picture. One thing for sure, Kobe can will this team into the playoffs.
Lakers head to Dallas as they take on the Mavericks tomorrow morning in an early game time match. set at 10AM PST.