Los Angeles, CA.--The Los Angeles Lakers fall in Portland for their 16 straight loss to the Trailblazers. Damian Lillard and his Blazers spoiled LeBrons Laker debut by defeating the Lakers 128-119 in a nationally televised game.
Photo By: Steve Dykes/Getty Images
LeBron James first real game as a Laker started off epic as his first two baskets were highlight dunks. He stole the ball from a Blazer that wound up in an fastbreak dunk, then after a Lillard highlight dunk LeBron followed that up with another one of his own.
He finished with a double-double, leading the Lakers in scoring with 26 points, 12 rebounds. He played a game-high 37 minutes. James who spoke after the game made it clear that the Lakers are going to be a work in progress:
"It's not instant oatmeal. It's not that fast," James said. "It takes some time to get that chemistry where you can just close your eyes and know exactly where guys are."
The Lakers struggled from three just 7-30 missed their first 15 attempts and did not make their first three until midway through the third.
They got contributions from others not named LeBron. They had five other players score in double figures. Hart who was very productive off the bench and efficient with 20 points on 8-12 shooting, was the only Laker to make more than one from deep.
Brandon Ingram had 16 points (10 in the 3rd), Kyle Kuzma had 15 points (1-7 from 3pt), and Rajon Rondo and Javale McGee each had 13.
Photo By: Odds Shark
Damian Lillard an All-NBA First Team selection a year ago put the Blazers on his back leading the way with 28 points. He wore a "RIP Paul Allen" on his shoe in memory of the owner and co-founder of Microsoft who passed away Monday in Seattle at the age of 65.
"We wanted to come out and start the season right and to honor our owner, Mr. Paul Allen. That's what tonight was all about for us, not about the noise surrounding the game," Lillard said after the game.
The story was about Allen, but it may have ended being about former first round pick Nik Stauskas who signed a one year deal with the Blazers this off-season. He scored 24 points making five threes and played with plenty of emotion after hitting shot after shot. If he continues to be consistent from three, it could be the huge lift off the bench the Blazers haven't had in a while.
CJ McCollum also had 21 points, and big man Jusuf Nurkic had 16 points and 9 rebounds.
The Blazers who have now won an NBA record 18 straight home openers.
Lakers now return to Los Angeles for their first home game at Staples Center on Saturday 10/20 vs the team with the best record from a year ago in the Houston Rockets. They are coming off an embarrassing home loss to open their 2018-2019 season against the New Orleans Pelicans and will look to take it out on these Lakers.
Starting 0-15 from three vs the team who made the most threes a year ago...won't end well for the Lakers.