Can Lakers End 16-Game Losing Streak to Trail Blazers? (Nope)

Matthew Jordan

Friday, November 2, 2018 1:14 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 2, 2018 1:14 PM UTC

LeBron James’ Lakers regular-season career began in Portland, and the Purple & Gold will be looking for some payback in the Pacific Northwest on Saturday.

LA Lakers (3-5 SU, 2-6 ATS) at Portland (6-2 SU, 6-2 ATS)Saturday, 10 p.m. ETFree NBA Pick: Blazers ATSBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Very unusual scheduling between the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers this season. They play four times, but Saturday will already be L.A.’s final trip to the Pacific Northwest. They play again on Nov. 14 at Staples Center and then not again until the regular-season finale in Los Angeles. The Lakers figure to look a lot different by April 9 than they do in mid-November.

LeBron James’ Lakers debut was Oct. 18 in Portland and the Blazers won their stunning 16th straight in the series, 128-119. James had two very memorable dunks back-to-back and 26 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists, but he also turned it over a game-high six times. The Lakers were just 7-for-30 from long range – which was a bit of foreshadowing because that is a major problem on this team. LeBron and Brandon Ingram each missed all four of their three-point attempts.

Portland, meanwhile, was 13-for-37 from deep and missed only two free throws in 29 attempts. Damian Lillard had 28 points and CJ McCollum 21, although neither shot well (combined 15-for-38). Nik Stauskas was huge off the bench with 24 points in about the game of his pro career.

The 16-game winning streak is Portland’s second-longest ever vs. any opponent. The franchise record is 17, ironically, against the other L.A. team, the Clippers (from 1986-89).

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LeBron James puts up 29 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST to guide the @Lakers to victory at home! #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/4YrNkACWI3

— NBA (@NBA) November 1, 2018
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First of B2B for Lakers

The Lakers ended a two-game losing streak Wednesday but nearly gave one away in a 114-113 home win over Dallas as L.A. again failed to cover the spread (-7.5). If there’s one chink in the Hall of Fame armor of James it’s that he has a history of missing clutch free throws. He has admitted as such. James did, though, make the winner from the charity stripe vs. the Mavs with 2.1 seconds left.

Should never have gotten to that point with L.A. leading 111-98 with 3:42 to go, but this team doesn’t know how to close yet. LeBron finished with 29 points and six assists. All five starters had at least 12, and the Lakers shot an uncharacteristic 58.8 percent from deep. JaVale McGee was great with 16 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks. Be aware that this is the front end of a back-to-back (vs. Toronto on Sunday), although Luke Walton hasn’t hinted he would rest James in any B2B. I’m quite sure it’s LeBron’s call.

Portland began a season-high six-game homestand Thursday with a 132-119 win as a 6.5-point favorite over a Pelicans team missing Anthony Davis. That helps! The 132 points were a season high. Lillard had 26 points, Jusuf Nurkic 20 and nine rebounds, Al-Farouq Aminu 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Evan Turner 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists off the bench.

Turner has really been playing well and continues to get more time with Moe Harkless hurting. Harkless has missed the past three with a sore knee and isn’t likely Saturday. The team has used more three-guard lineups involving Turner with Harkless out.

  • Lakers are 9-23 ATS in the last 32 meetings in Portland.
  • Trail Blazers are 20-6 ATS in their last 26 home games.
  • Trail Blazers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. Western Conference.

The Lakers haven’t won in Portland since March 3, 2014, and that won’t change Saturday. Yes, L.A. is on an extra day of rest, but no Blazers had to play super-heavy minutes Thursday. Plus, maybe the Lakers do rest someone ahead of a Sunday game. Go Portland for a Saturday NBA pick.

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