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Blazers Blast Hapless Lakers, Begin All-Star Break

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

 

Would you rather read about how the Blazers once again dismantled the hapless Los Angeles Lakers? Or would you rather hear Nick "Swaggy P" Young's tale about how a dolphin tried to kill him in Cabo San Lucas?

The answer, clearly, is: "tell me about Swaggy P and the dolphin!"

 

 

In Portland, Wednesday, before taking on the Blazers, Young was asked about last year's aquatic adventure which recently surfaced.

"This is real, though," he told reporters from ESPN.com. "This really happened."

Indeed.

You can't make this stuff up. Well... so to speak.

A more verifiable truth, however, took place on the court, as Portland easily dispatched of Young and his largely unknown, far less interesting cohorts, 102-86. (The Lakers were without Kobe Bryant, who is out for the season with an injured shoulder.)

Playing their last game before the All-Star break, the Blazers seemed to be enjoying themselves. Light in their minds and on their feet, Portland shared the ball, played loose and with confidence. They took an early lead and never looked back.

Wesley Matthews had the play of the game. He dove to the ground to secure a steal and hit a breaking Damian Lillard for a powerful dunk. The sequence ignited a run that turned a comfortable lead into a blowout.

 

 

For the Blazers starters, their All-Star vacation began just moments after-- though still well before the final buzzer--as L.A. waved the white flag and the benches were cleared.

While most of the Trail Blazers will take the extended time off to rest their aching bodies, Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge will travel to New York to play in Sunday's All-Star game. Matthews will tag along to compete in Saturday's Three-Point Challenge.

As a team, the Blazers enter the break with a record of 36-17--the exact same record they had at this point last season.

---

LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE: B-
Something about these Lakers just doesn't bring out the best in Aldridge, who made just 6-of-20 attempts from the field. Then again, he still finished with a double-double, piling up 18 points and 12 rebounds in just 28 minutes.

NICOLAS BATUM: B
Had he played more than 33 minutes, Batum would've been on a legit triple-double watch. He finished with seven points, eight rebounds and six assists. But he also struggled from behind the arc, making just 1-of-4 from deep. Perhaps no Blazer needs the upcoming break more than Batum and his ailing wrist.

ROBIN LOPEZ: B
Fine and dandy, like sour candy--a Ned Flanders reference for Portland's favorite Simpsons lookalike. Ten points, nine rebounds in 27 minutes. Good deal.

DAMIAN LILLARD: B
Lillard managed 15 points on only eight shots, though he didn't make any of his three three-point attempts. He dished eight assists, though, and is responsible for one of the more impressive streaks in the NBA this season:

 

 

WESELY MATTHEWS: B+
Solid all-around game for Matthews, who led the team in scoring (20 points) and made the hustle play that fired up the crowd and broke the game open.

MEYERS LEONARD: A-
One must assume that the Lakers either A.) had no scouting report on Leonard, or B.) decided not to read it, because time and time again they left him open for three. Leonard, who is shooting 46% from deep on the season, made 3-of-5 attempts from distance on Wednesday, scoring 11 points to go along with seven boards, four of which came on the offensive glass. 

 

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