LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — In what was essentially a must-win game for the Portland Trail Blazers, the Los Angeles Lakers were the ones who came out in attack mode. The top-seeded Lakers jumped out to a 15-0 lead and never looked back in a 135-115 blowout win over the Blazers in Game 4 of their first-round series Monday night. The Lakers lead the series 3-1.
Los Angeles played inspired on a night honoring one of the franchise’s greatest players, Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash earlier this year. Sunday would have Bryant’s 42nd birthday and Monday’s numerical date, 8/24, represented the two numbers Bryant wore during his career.
After scoring the first 15 points of the game, the Lakers went on to score 43 in the first quarter and 80 by halftime, building a 29-point lead. Any hope of a dramatic come-from-behind win for the Blazers was dashed when Los Angeles opened the third quarter on an 11-2 run to build a 91-53 lead.
LeBron James led the Lakers with 30 points and 10 assists. Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma added 18 points each. The Lakers shot 56% from the field and 43% on 3-pointers.
A tough loss was made even worse for Portland when Damian Lillard left the game in the third quarter with an apparent right knee injury.
Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said after the game it was a non-contact injury and that Lillard would get an MRI.
Lillard finished the game with just 11 points on 3-of-9 shooting. Jusuf Nurkic led the Blazers with 20 points and 13 rebounds. CJ McCollum scored 18 points and Carmelo Anthony had 16.
Portland is now one loss away from elimination. Game 5 of the best-of-7 series is Wednesday night at 6 p.m.
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