Los Angeles Lakers at Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Los Angeles Lakers are back on a winning streak after having their 13-game streak snapped by the Dallas Mavericks. They’ll look to stretch their current streak to three games in a late game tonight on ESPN against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers are back on the road for their third straight road game before they head back home on Sunday.
Los Angeles is first in the Western Conference with a 19-3 record. They are 9-1 in their last 10 games and have an excellent road record of 10-1. Portland is ninth in the West with a 9-13 record. They won their most recent games but are 5-5 in their last 10 games. The Moda Center has not exactly been an advantage for the Trail Blazers this season as they are 4-4 at home.
Tonight’s game is the first of the regular-season series between the Lakers and Blazers.
Time: 10:30 PM ET
Arena: Moda Center, Portland, OR
Lakers: Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma (P), Avery Bradley, DeMarcus Cousins (O)
Blazers: Gary Trent (Q), Zach Collins, Jusuf Nurkic (O)
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
After their blowout loss at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers got back to their winning ways against two Western Conference contenders in a 105-96 win over the Denver Nuggets, and on the next night blowing out the Utah Jazz in the second game of a back-to-back 121-96.
The Lakers got out to an early first-quarter lead and never trailed in any quarter. While the Jazz got solid games out of Bojan Bogdanovic, Rudy Gobert, and Donovan Mitchell, the Lakers chose to try to make other Jazz players try to beat them, and they limited every other Jazz player outside of their big three, and Quin Snyder went 13 deep looking for answers deep on his bench.
“We can accomplish anything we want if we keep our minds on the prize which is the championship,” Lakers big man Dwight Howard said after the win over Utah. “Every night we step on the floor we want to have fun but we have to keep in mind that we’re trying to win a championship. We have to have that mentality every time we make a play. Defense, offense, on the bench. Championship mentality.”
Anthony Davis had 26 points in the game. LeBron James finished with 20 points and 12 assists, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 14. The Lakers also got some scoring help off the bench, with Rajon Rondo finishing with 14 points and 12 assists, and Kyle Kuzma notching 13.
Tonight, the Lakers backcourt will be challenged with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
Portland Trail Blazers Starting Lineup
While the Portland Trail Blazers are just at the .500 mark in their last 10 games, things seem to be trending in the right direction for them. With reigning NBA Player of the Week Carmelo Anthony in tow and starting, the Blazers are getting the offensive help they needed. When Jusuf Nurkic returns, there’s certainly a lot of potential for this team.
In their latest win on Wednesday, a 127-116 victory over the Sacramento Kings, the Blazers had no trouble putting points up on the scoreboard, especially with CJ McCollum finishing with 33 points and continuing his 20-point streak.
“I work extremely hard on my craft every day,” McCollum said recently. “Taking care of my body and getting my sleep, nutrition, massages and rest. I’m not surprised. The staff does a great job of helping me out and putting me in a position to succeed and I just go do the rest.”
Aside from McCollum, Damian Lillard had 24 points and 10 assists. Hassan Whiteside also played well with 22 points and 16 rebounds, and the aforementioned Anthony finished with 20 points.
.Kent Bazemore came off the bench for 15 points
Key Player Matchups
Anthony Davis vs. Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony was an almost Laker, and it was clear LeBron James and Anthony Davis wanted him on the team. Instead tonight, they have to face Anthony, who has found some success playing for Terry Stotts. Anthony seems a bit undersized against Davis, but his speed will allow him to stay in front of Davis. Anthony’s best beat is going to be to try to beat Davis off the dribble or use screens to get mismatches.
Damian Lillard vs. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Once Lillard gets going, it’s hard to stop him, but Caldwell-Pope is one of the better perimeter defenders in the league, and he has some help in the backcourt with Danny Green. Caldwell-Pope has also stepped up offensively lately for the Lakers. He’s averaging eight points per game, but that is up to 10.3 in his last ten games.
Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard are fantasy standouts for tonight’s matchup. Davis didn’t put up great rebounding numbers last game, but that was likely an outlier. He is valued at $9.6k on FanDuel and is projected to have 56.24 points tonight. Lillard is available for $8.5k and is projected for a 46.6 point game.
One low-cost risk you can take is adding Carmelo Anthony for points and rebounds. His salary is low at just $5.8k and he has a projection of 25.49 points. Rajon Rondo could be another consideration for a lower spot in your lineup, especially with his double-doubles recently.
Bet on Matchup
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