Lebron James It was the usual LeBron in its premiere with the Lakers. The new 23 of the Californian team set the tone of the game, led when he wanted, played what he deemed most convenient at each moment, gave his teammates. He finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, but missed the four triples he threw in the 37 minutes he was on the court. But all this was not enough. Portland, third in the West but fell in the first round of the playoff last season, won the game (128-119) and showed how much they have left to improve the Lakers if they want to regain a place among the best.
LeBron, at 33 years old and after having added three titles and eight appearances in the finals with Miami and Cleveland, has taken on the difficult mission of rescuing the Lakers from the deficient situation that has sunk during the last five years, always in the posts of the NBA. Its premiere was spectacular. LeBron plays at a higher level and demonstrated the strength and decision with which he has started his mission with 23 of the gold and purple shirt with a dreadful mate that meant his first basket, which put the 2-8 on the scoreboard.
The Lakers started the game very toned. Luke Walton formed the starting five with Rondo, Caldwell-Pope, Ingram, LeBron James and McGee. The Lakers came to dominate by ten points (15-25), dominated in the first quarter, still came with advantage to rest and kept the guy in the third. But the Blazers ended up tarnishing the LeBron premiere with a last quarter. They showed that for now they are still better team and imposed the quality of their outside tandem, with 28 points, six rebounds and four assists from Damian Lillard and 21 points from McCollum. To them was added the escort Nik Stauskas who, coming from the bench, contributed five triples and 24 points, while inside the painting highlighted Nurkic, with 16 points.
Portland: Lillard (28), McCollum (21), Layman (3), Aminu (5), Nurkic (16) – initial team-; Collins (6), Leonard (0), Harkless (7), Stauskas (27), Turner (13) and Curry (5).
Lakers: Rondo (13), Caldwell-Pope (5), Ingram (16), LeBron James (26), McGee (13) -primary team-; Kuzma (15), Beasley (0), Ball (7), Hart (20) and Stephenson (4).
Partial: 34-31, 31-32, 28-28 and 35-28
Portland Fashion Center. 19,996 spectators.
The Blazers added eight rebounds and six triples more than the Lakers. LeBron James had the support of Josh Hart, who came off the bench scored 20 points, four rebounds and three steals in 27 minutes. Rondo added 13 points, 11 assists and four rebounds, McGee, also scored 13 points yocho rebounds. Brandon Ingram reached 16 points but missed the four triples he threw, like LeBron.
The errors in the triples, with a 7 of 30, a 23% of success, weighed the game of the Lakers. Lonzo Ball, who comes out of an injury, played 19 minutes and contributed seven points and four rebounds. Stephenson, who also debuted with the Lakers, missed the three triples he threw and finished with four points. And Kuzma contributed 15 points and five rebounds, but did not hit from the maximum distance with a single hit in seven shots.