Sports

LeBron James, Russell Westbook carry Lakers to rout of Blazers


LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball during the second quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at Crypto.com Arena on December 31, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball during the second quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at Crypto.com Arena on December 31, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images/AFP

LeBron James scored 43 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Russell Westbrook posted a triple-double and the Los Angeles Lakers closed 2021 with a 139-106 rout of the visiting Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.

James reached a double-double in the first half, posting 27 points and 10 rebounds by intermission. He reached double figures in points less than six minutes into the game as the Lakers raced to a 25-10 start.

It was all Los Angeles from there in a wire-to-wire win.

Westbrook finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.

Portland cut the deficit to 12 points to open the third quarter when Tony Snell connected on a 3-pointer off one of Damian Lillard’s seven assists, but Los Angeles responded with a quick 10-2 run that effectively ended any hope of a rally.

The Trail Blazers struggled to find a shooting rhythm throughout the night. They hit just 36 of 102 (35.3 percent) from the floor and 12 of 42 (28.6 percent) from 3-point range. Lillard went 1 of 8 from long distance while Norman Powell was 0 of 5 from deep.

Ben McLemore led Portland with 28 points off the bench, hitting 6-of-14 from 3-point range. Lillard finished with 18 points, Larry Nance Jr. had 13 points and nine boards, and Powell scored 12.

Los Angeles sank 55.3 percent of its field-goal attempts (47 of 85) and 19 of 41 (46.3 percent) from beyond the arc.

James shot 16 of 26 from the floor and 5 of 10 from outside. Westbrook went 5 of 10 overall, and Malik Monk hit 6 of 11 shots en route to 18 points.

Stanley Johnson played his best game since being added to the Lakers’ roster on a 10-day contract via the hardship exception. He shot 3 of 4 from the field, including 2 of 3 from outside, and finished with 10 points.

Carmelo Anthony (16 points), Austin Reaves (10) and Talen Horton-Tucker (10) all scored in double figures off the bench for Los Angeles, which won for just the second time in eight games.

Portland took its fourth straight loss and fell for the 11th time in the past 13 games.

Field Level Media

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