A monstrous LeBron (38 + 12) leaves the Blazers unanswered

LeBron James led the Lakers with 38 points. The Trail Blazers made adjustments that didn't work. The tie is unequal again.


The Lakers had regained confidence in the second game, where they beat the Blazers, and they saw how the most important player in the bubble, his now rival Damian Lillard, was doubtful for this third game, which seemed key. And Lillard played, and he did it very well, but the Angelenos' faith in going to the next round is redoubled: with everything Portland had and a dose of innovation they managed to neutralize the attack and take the match by their side. LeBron James was king again, finishing with 38 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists and a sense of control that he could not endorse on the first day and that did not appear on the second.

Anthony Davis recovered from a bad first half and returned to be the one of the meeting, this one yes, a steamroller when the team requires him before the Stotts towers. The Blazers coach made a change to the lineup and put his center partner Nurkic and Whiteside first, knocking out Wenyen Gabriel, who is clearly unprepared, in the rotation. It worked out well for him, as the first half was dominated by locals (if it can be called that, playing at Lake Buena Vista). The coach did his part although he again sinned in conformity by opening the range little to new players and the protagonists, Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony, too. What went wrong? That they lack more equipment to be able to compete. They went to the limit for more than half an hour and the Angelenos, with much more wardrobe depth and with some that are more differential than others, took the cake. 108-116 and a lead for the Lakers in the series.

The beginning of McCollum and especially of Lillard, who had been hanging by a thread, was encouraging for the Oregon team. Whiteside seemed savvy against McGee, who had made them a break in the fight for the rebound in the previous appointment, Carmelo Anthony started off tremendously wrong in the shots but defending even Davis, who started just as bad. The imbalance was in the outer zone, with Caruso going from less to more in the match, and in those first two quarters only LeBron James and some brushstrokes of Caldwell-Pope, which is being uncovered as a very useful weapon, saved the furniture for the Lakers.

Californians were tense and it was that LeBron leadership, who read the game perfectly, that led them to loosen up in the third quarter. Davis appeared and when he joins James it seems difficult that the Trail Blazers can cope without a Zach Collins who will have surgery and will not return for sure this season. The bad percentages in the free throws were a sign of that knowing the importance of the third point, getting ahead again. The Lakers' browned power forward pulled out his claw and Nurkic and Whiteside flinched. The one who kept the suspense a little more was Carmelo, extraordinary in that third act also facing the basket. But the accumulation of minutes was already too much for some, Melo included, the Simons and Trent were not helping to give them more ball. Caruso and Green appeared doing a good dirty job on Lillard and McCollum and there the game died, with no more resources on the table and with the Lakers closing quietly to get 2-1.

Photos from as.com
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