Trail Blazers vs Lakers score, takeaway: Los Angeles dominates Game 2 to tie the series with Portland

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Looks like the Lakers are going to be great. After a humiliating loss in Game 1 to the No. 8 seed Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers hit back and defeated the Blazers in Game 2, 111-88. They were led by a stellar outing from Anthony Davis, which gave them 31 points, 11 rebounds and top notch defense. More importantly, after shooting a terrible 5 of 32 on 3 points in the opener, the Lakers hit 14 to 38 tonight.Now the pressure is on Portland to respond, and they won’t be 100% when they try to do so. Damian Lillard dislocated his left index finger in the third quarter, and even if he’s playing, he’s likely to be less than his typical superstar. This only adds to Portland’s disappointment after such a big blowout. The Lakers took Portland’s best punch in Game 1. Now they’re in control with the first two games on the books.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

1. Anthony Davis asserted himself

It wasn’t Anthony Davis’ 31 points that turned this game upside down for the Lakers. That was how he got them. While it was raining jumpers in the second half, 16 of his 21 points in the first half came from paint. After being intimidated on the inside by Hassan Whiteside and Jusuf Nurkic in Game 1, this is exactly what the Lakers needed.

Size has been their identity throughout the season. While this has drawbacks in terms of perimeter defense and shooting, the Lakers should never lose a game in the trenches like they did in Game 1. Tonight’s win was a reminder that the Lakers have. still painting, and Davis led the way.

2. Where will the Portland points come from?

The Blazers have averaged 126 points per game in their eight classification games. They’re averaging 94 per game against the Lakers, and that’s after waste 30 points in the fourth quarter of Game 2. Now Lillard is battling an injury, and although he’s likely to play in the third match, they can’t afford a scaled-down version of it. It took him 61 points just to beat the No.7 seed in the Western Conference. What will it take for them to beat the Lakers? Especially with CJ McCollum struggling with a broken lower back.

Carmelo Anthony averaged 16.5 points per game on 45.6% shots during the ranking matches. He is 4 of 17 from the field. Gary Trent Jr. has shot more than 50 percent from the back of the arc in his eight ranking games. He only has 13 points in total in this series. Someone other than Lillard and McCollum is going to have to score for the Blazers to have any chance in this series. It’s not like the Lakers turned the lights off in this game. Their 36.8% out of 3 rating is basically what they should be doing on average for the series. If Portland can’t keep pace, their playoff series will be over in a few days.

3. LeBron in the post is still a killer

That’s a minor note, especially how passive LeBron was overall in Game 2, but during a stretch in the second quarter he absolutely wiped Gary Trent out in the post. The Blazers had no choice but to double down, and LeBron, being by far the best post-passer in the NBA, killed them by hitting the open man.

It won’t have much of an impact on an uneven series like this, but it’s a storyline to watch with the Rockets looming in Round 2. LeBron is likely going to play the center of this series, and his ability to drawing doubles in the post (which Houston loves to throw away) is going to create a lot of great looks for the Lakers.

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