Los Angeles Lakers Finally Win at Portland’s Rose Garden

Blazers Streak Ends At 9- Lakers Finally Win in the Rose Garden

If there was one positive thing to take away from tonight's loss against the Lakers at the Rose Garden (yes, you read that right), it is that Kobe Bryant didn't actually play; Kobe Bryant still hasn't won in the Rose Garden.

For the first time since February of 2005, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden in a 99-82 blowout.

Led by Ron Artest (21 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists ) and Lamar Odom (22 rebounds), the Lakers effectively shutdown the Blazers in every category, capitalizing on the Blazer's poor interior defense, ending up with 48 points in the paint to Portland's 22 . On defense the Lakers held Portland to 43.7% shooting and 27.8% from the 3 point line (Thank you Martel Webster).

Los Angeles wasted no time establishing their bigs Pau Gasol (13 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists) and Andrew Bynum (10 minutes and 3 points) inside, meaning to attack the short handed front line of the Blazers. The strategy enabled the Lakers to effectively draw the defense and allow for [insert Laker] to make the open outside shot. Exploiting seemingly every defensive matchup on offense, the Lakers continuously went inside to Gasol. This proved far too much for Aldridge and Howard to handle, as Gasol was consistently able to establish early and deep position, often times stepping in for a lay-in or cutting through the defense on a pick and roll for the easy two.

The Blazers countered by getting the ball in to LaMarcus Aldridge early. Aldridge ended up with 16 points, 12 of them coming in the first quarter. The Blazers began the game on fire from the field, playing aggressive defense, and battling on the boards. The most exciting highlight of the first half came when Laker Andrew Bynum missed a layup, got his own rebound, then was blocked by Jeff Pendergraph when he attempted to shoot it again.


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