The Portland Trail Blazers continue to be a thorn in the side of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The penultimate meeting of the season between the two Western Conference squads saw the Lakers come out strong, but fizzle in the second half to suffer their third straight loss to Portland this season, and second in a row overall on Wednesday night, falling 105-98 in Portland.
Prior to the contest, Spectrum Sportsnet analyst Derek Fisher broke down three keys to a Lakers win over the Blazers.
— DerekFisher (@derekfisher) January 26, 2017
The Lakers did bring it from the get-go on offense, scoring 31 points in the opening frame, but they failed to keep it up on the defensive end, letting the Blazers hang with them and score 30 points of their own.
LA struggled to hang in after their strong start and stale shooting was a primary culprit. Fish noted that the Lakers should attack the Portland defense and try to get points at the rim, but LA struggled to do that, shooting less than 40 percent from the floor despite shooting at a manageable 37 percent from deep. A flat third quarter also once again doomed Los Angeles, leaving them behind too far entering the fourth to mount much of a comeback.
The Lakers and Blazers finish their season series on March 26 in Los Angeles.