Lakers vs. Trail Blazers: In-game report
Trail Blazers 107, Lakers 98 (final)
The torture chamber inflicted more pain on the Lakers Friday night.
The place is the Rose Garden. The city is Portland. The team is the Trail Blazers.
The Lakers have come to this city, to this arena, to play this team nine consecutive times now seeking a victory and every time the Lakers have been defeated by Portland and sent home wondering.
The losing streak continued tonight for the Lakers, their last victory here coming Feb. 23, 2005.
The Lakers come back to Portland on Feb. 6 with the hopes of finally breaking the streak.
They fell behind by 20 points in the fourth quarter, but made a strong push to pull to within 99-87, forcing Portland to call a timeout with 3:48 left.
Brandon Roy was fouled by Andrew Bynum, which put him at the line for two free throws. Roy made both for a 101-87 Portland lead.
All five Lakers' starters scored in double figures, but it wasn't enough.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 32 points, but he was just 14-for-37 shooting from the field.
Roy led the Trail Blazers with 32 points on nine-for-11 shooting, putting the finishing touches on the Lakers' loss with a layup with 28.3 seconds left, giving the Trail Blazers a 105-96 lead, stopping a Lakers' rally that got them to within seven points with less than a minute to play. Roy also had six rebounds and six assists.Trail Blazers 81, Lakers 71 (third quarter)
The Lakers had pulled to within three points of Portland in the third quarter, but then started to exchange baskets.
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson leaped off the bench after Brandon Roy scored two consecutive jumpers and called a timeout.
That's how serious the Lakers were about trying to win tonight in Portland.
The Lakers came out strong in the third quarter, moving the basketball, moving bodies, looking for other players besides Kobe Bryant.
After Lamar Odom threw a lob pass to Andrew Bynum for a dunk, the Lakers had pulled to within 64-61 halfway through the third quarter.
That forced the Trail Blazers to call a timeout.
The Lakers had outscored Portland, 18-9, in the first 6:01 of the third and Bryant didn't score.
Ron Artest had eight points during that stretch.
But Portland didn't fold, building a 10-point lead entering the fourth.
Trail Blazers 55, Lakers 43 (halftime)
Kobe Bryant was the Lakers' main offensive weapon in the first half tonight at the Rose Garden, scoring 16 points and grabbing five rebounds.
But Bryant picked up his third foul with 2:12 left in the second quarter and was forced to take a seat on the bench.
The Lakers, who have lost their last eight games in Portland, quickly fell behind by 12 points at 53-41 once Bryant went to the bench.
The Lakers just couldn't seem to match the energy of the Trail Blazers. Portland got all the loose balls, all the rebounds.Trail Blazers 30, Lakers 24 (first quarter)
It has been a difficult time for Derek Fisher. He has not played his best basketball as of late, even sitting out the fourth quarter of a few recent games.
But tonight in the first quarter against the Trail Blazers, Fisher got off to a good start, scoring seven points.
Fisher made two three-pointesr, one that turned into a four-point play after he was fouled by Brandon Roy while making the shot. Fisher was two for four from the field in the first.
With Roy in foul trouble after he picked up his second and took a seat on the bench, Portland turned to guard Jerryd Bayless.
Bayless was four-for-four shooting from the field, scoring eight points.
Andre Miller, who got into a shouting match with Portland Coach Nate McMillan at practice Thursday, started and scored eight points and handed out four assists in the first.Pregame
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson stood in the hallway, his back against the wall, a smile on his face.
Jackson knew the question was coming.
It was about how the Lakers have lost eight consecutive games against the Trail Blazers here in Portland at the Rose Garden.
The last game the Lakers played here last April, then-Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis was in charge because Jackson was home in Los Angeles dealing with painful swelling in his lower right leg.
That turned into a loss as well.
The Lakers are back in Portland, this time hopefully ready to get a win.
Jackson said there is a good reason why the Trail Blazers have so much success against the Lakers here in Portland.
"It's a rivalry," Jackson said. "Some of it is just the energy between these two teams. It's just accumulated."
The Lakers didn't play with Pau Gasol for the third consecutive game because he is dealing with a strained left hamstring.
But the Trail Blazers are without centers Greg Oden (fractured left knee cap) and Joel Przybilla (ruptured right knee), forwards Travis Outlaw (fractured foot) and Nicolas Batum (shoulder) and guards Rudy Fernandez (back) and Steve Blake (pneumonia).
-- Broderick Turner
Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant grabs a rebound above Blazers forward Dante Cunningham in the first half Friday night. Credit: Rick Bowmer / Associated Press