An altercation with D’Angelo Russell fuels Damian Lillard to overcome his sluggish performance in the first half. Lillard scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half, helping the Portland Trail Blazers defeat the Los Angeles Lakers, 108-87, on Tuesday night at Staples Center.
With 6:05 remaining in the third quarter, D’Angelo Russell succeeded to block the shot of Damian Lillard. However, after the ball went out of bounds, Russell bumped Lillard that resulted in a chest to chest exchange between the two guards. Lillard came in a frustrating first half where he only scored two points.
“I don’t know what made him feel like that was going to be accepted or like I wouldn’t take exception to that,” Lillard said. “I took it as a challenge. I was struggling shooting the ball and I was getting good looks. Maybe he felt like that was because of him or whatever. It’s levels. I got a little more aggressive, our team got more aggressive and we pulled off.”
The third quarter altercation turned out to be beneficial for the Trail Blazers as it helped Lillard to get his rhythm back. He contributed 20 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. C.J. McCollum led the Trail Blazers with a game-high 25 points while Al-Farouq Aminu added eight points and 15 rebounds.
LAKERS 3RD QUARTER WOES STRIKE AGAIN
The Lakers failed to take advantage of Lillard’s sluggish performance in the first half. They only led by two points heading into the second half. Their struggle started in the third quarter where they only scored 12 points over the Trail Blazers’ 23 points.
D’Angelo Russell failed to hit a three-pointer against the Trail Blazers and went 0-for-7 from beyond the arc. Julius Randle struggled to make an impact, scoring only six points with 10 rebounds. Luol Deng led the Lakers with 17 points while Brandon Ingram added 11 points.
The Lakers will face the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday at AT&T Center. The Trail Blazers will host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.
Photo courtesy: MikeD/Wikimedia Commons
Video courtesy: Youtube/Ximo Pierto Final