Davis and LeBron are Shaq and Kobe to beat the tough Blazers

79 points between them, with a triple-double of Akron's, they knocked out the Blazers without Damian Lillard but with applauded honor.


A round of applause for the Portland Trail Blazers is mandatory. Without Zach Collins, without Nassir Little, without Wenyen Gabriel, with the losses already known before going to the bubble of Trevor Ariza, Caleb Swanigan and Rodney Hood and also with the injury there of the MVP in such a magical place, Damian Lillard. And with several headdresses and a Hassan Whiteside who had to go to the locker room for a blow to a finger similar to Dame's. Maybe it wasn't enough pain, because looking at how they faced this fifth game of the series against the Lakers, anyone would say that their mandatory rotation was nine players. An outpouring of desire, pride and pride made this closing of the first round for both teams worthy even though the result could be guessed.

The Lakers have lost only one game in this series and the same thing happened to them again as in that series: little contribution outside the two great stars, a lot of missed single shot and difficulties defending targets with known abilities. They were in a lot of trouble to contain McCollum, just in the direction, and a Melo at his best. Hopefully we will see Terry Stotts' men again next season, already healthy, but what we have to do now is the next challenge for some Lakers who shot 79 points from Davis (43) and LeBron (36) so that Portland would not paint them. face.

Gary Trent came in for Lillard in the Oregon's starting lineup and Whiteside almost got out of it. Actually, the weight of his position was taken away by Anfernee Simons, who was able to give McCollum some of what Lillard normally brings. Improvisation so as not to make a fool of himself and far from it: a response that put his opponent in trouble for almost forty minutes. Neither with Caruso nor with Green, good outside defenders, could the experienced Frank Vogel stop a CJ McCollum who kept the ball that Lillard could not touch, already outside the bubble to treat his injury with specialists.

The Angelenos caught differences but were neutralized and at a point where the Blazers, with a severe blow, could reverse and turn everything around. Defensive errors that are common in Portland moved almost by contagion to Los Angeles, favoring the spectacle from rim to rim and from point to point.

McCollum (36 + 6 + 7) went inside like a knife, Nurkic (16 + 10 + 6 + 5) destroyed a Howard with points and passivity in equal parts and some good shot from Simons and Trent left the main plate for the last period. The Blazers, subjected to all kinds of witchcraft, also endured the 13-0 partial with which the Lakers wanted to close the contest in the third set. LeBron added to the cheetah by keeping quiet, and that would end with a triple-double, and the one who made his game sound the most was Anthony Davis, a beast that dominated inside and outside, up and down, but this was of little use to a reborn man. season and that gives a blow to those who passed him: Carmelo Anthony (27 points), restricted even by his foul problem, put his 24-carat arsenal at the disposal of the spectators and shone with his own light.

Davis, Davis and again Davis pressured Stotts to throw in the towel, which happened just a minute and a half to go. A 14-3 run was definitive for the Trail Blazers to give up with the dominance of who beat them 131-122 this game and 4-1 this series.

This is a small warning to the Lakers, who have been uneven and must improve if a team as dangerous and unpredictable as the Houston Rockets comes to the next company. Davis and LeBron have had to dress up as Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, the last to have added 35 points each in a postseason game (2002) playing purple and gold. Caruso, Green, McGee, Smith, Howard and Kuzma must step up in the conference semifinals, which are already heating up in the Western Conference.

Photos from as.com

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