Saturday night features a Game 3 showdown between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference playoffs. The series is even at 1-1 after the Blazers shocked Los Angeles in the opener, and the Lakers bounced back with a convincing Game 2 win on Thursday night.
Tip-off for the contest is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. EST at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla., and will be broadcast on ABC. The Lakers are seven-point favorites, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers used that opening loss to fuel a blowout bounce-back victory, 111-88, on Thursday night in Game 2. Los Angeles held Portland to its lowest point total since 2018, and it was Portland’s worst loss inside the bubble.
All-Star Anthony Davis led the way for the Lakers with 31 points and 11 rebounds. The big man shot 13-for-21 from the floor, including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. LeBron James added 10 points, six rebounds, seven assists, and committed six turnovers for the Lakers.
One of the keys to the blowout victory was the Lakers’ efficiency from the arc. The Lakers have not shot particularly well since the restart, but Los Angeles connected on 14 three-pointers on 38.6% shooting. That percentage is a slight uptick from their 30% average this season.
What to Know – Portland Trail Blazers
Portland shocked the NBA universe with its 100-93 upset victory in Game 1. A poor performance in Game 2 led to a lopsided Lakers win in a game that was never close from the start. The Trail Blazers were one of the best three-point shooting teams in Orlando and will need to find that stroke again if they have any chance Saturday night.
Damian Lillard led Portland in scoring with 18 points. The sensational guard shot 6-for-14 from the field but connected on just one of his seven three-point attempts. Lillard departed the contest in the third quarter with a dislocated index finger.
CJ McCullom added 13 points on 6-for-16 shooting but also hit just one 3-pointer on five shots. Portland shot just 8-for-29 from the arc.
The Trail Blazers enter the weekend banged up. Lillard’s injury is the most noteworthy, but McCullom has been hampered by a lower back injury and power forward Zach Collins was officially ruled out for the remainder of the season with an ankle injury that will require surgery.
The Pick is In
The Lakers bounced back and looked liked the No. 1 seed on Thursday night. Lillard left Thursday’s contest but should be okay to play since the dislocated index finger is on his non-shooting hand.
The Lakers’ win on Thursday was just the second time inside the bubble that the Lakers covered the spread. If Portland has another night where its defense is lacking, look out for another double-digit victory for King James and the Lakers.
We like the Lakers -7 in this one.