Wallace key as Blazers shut down Lakers
January 6, 2012, 12:16 am
A short, hectic season with little preparation is sure to have its fair share of ups and downs. For Portland right now, they’re in the middle of a great run. After defeating the Thunder on Tuesday, Portland out hustles the Los Angeles Lakers to win 107-96 and improve to 5-1 on the season Thursday night from the Rose Garden.
Portland’s Gerald Wallace looked to be in mid-season form as he dominated his battles with Matt Barnes and Metta Word Peace to the tune of 31 points and on 13 of 19 shooting. Wallace’s hustle seemed to spark Portland as they were determined to outwork the opposition. This was a side of Gerald that Portland fans have been waiting to see since he arrived last season.
With their win, the Trail Blazers continue to hold the top spot in the Western Conference in this young season.
Portland came into the game with the plan of letting Kobe Bryant get his share of shot while trying to limit other production from the team. Bryant score his 30 points on the nigh but he was just 2-9 in the second half. Andrew Bynum scored 21 and Pau Gasol scored 19 but outside of that, the next highest scorer for L.A. was Derek Fischer with just 6 points.
The Lakers held several early leads, including a six-point lead as Bynum drained a hook shot with 11:39 remaining in the 3rd quarter, but Portland would find their stride for the rest of the quarter as the outscore the Lakers 32-16. Jamal Crawford capped off the run with a deep three pointer to close out the third quarter...
The Blazers really pulled away with about three minutes left in the game when Gerald Wallace stole a ball from Kobe, pushed it up the court, then Jamal Crawford does what he does best...
One other bright spot for Portland was LaMarcus Aldridge, who shot 11-20 in 33 minutes adding 28 points and 10 rebounds. Also, Jamal Crawford dropped 17 (eight in the 4th quarter) and Wesley Matthews logged an efficient game hitting three of four 3-pointers and shooting 6-11 from the field to give him 16 points.
The bad news for the Blazers is that the next two times they’ll face the Lakers this season will be in Los Angeles.
Portland is off to a surprising start, and will be looking extend this run when the take on the Suns on Friday, Jan. 6th in Phoenix and we’ll carry every moment live starting at 6:30 pm on your home of the Blazers, 750 The Game KXTG Portland.