Instant Analysis: Damian Lillard injured in Blazers blowout loss to Lakers

The best team in the Western Conference looked the part in Game 2.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Los Angeles Lakers bounced back from a Game 1 loss to dominant the Portland Trail Blazers and even the series with a 111-88 win on Thursday night.» data-reactid=»17″>The Los Angeles Lakers bounced back from a Game 1 loss to dominant the Portland Trail Blazers and even the series with a 111-88 win on Thursday night.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More important than the Game 2 loss for the Blazers, was the injury to Damian Lillard, who sustained a dislocated left index finger late in the third quarter. Lillard attempted to steal the ball from Anthony Davis on a swipe from behind and caught Davis’ heel, immediately grimacing before checking out of the game moments later following a stoppage in play.&nbsp;» data-reactid=»22″>More important than the Game 2 loss for the Blazers, was the injury to Damian Lillard, who sustained a dislocated left index finger late in the third quarter. Lillard attempted to steal the ball from Anthony Davis on a swipe from behind and caught Davis’ heel, immediately grimacing before checking out of the game moments later following a stoppage in play. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="[Related:&nbsp;Damian Lillard leaves game with left index finger injury]» data-reactid=»24″>[Related: Damian Lillard leaves game with left index finger injury]

Initial x-rays on Lillard’s finger came back negative, but he was ruled out for the remainder of the game early in the fourth quarter. Although, he likely would have remained on the bench for the rest of the night regardless as the Lakers had turned the game into a rout by the start of the final period.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Box Score: Lakers 111, Blazers 88» data-reactid=»26″>Box Score: Lakers 111, Blazers 88

Portland overcame a poor shooting night in Game 1 by earning trips to the free throw line and hanging around long enough to let their familiar crunch time magic run its course. There was never an opportunity for late game heroics on Thursday.

The Lakers jumped out to a 17 point halftime lead and then watched it balloon to as high as 30 in a dominant third quarter. The game was decided before the four quarter started.

Anthony Davis was dominant for the Lakers, finishing with 32 points and 11 rebounds in less than 30 minutes.

The Lakers struggled on offense in the opening game of the series and Davis never found his rhythm and while teammates couldn’t buy a shot from beyond the three-point line to alleviate some pressure on their All-Star big man. The script flipped in Game 2, Davis was aggressive getting to the rim and dominated the inside thanks to a more concerted effort to use his size and length to score down low.

Meanwhile, the Lakers 10-of-27 three-pointers after shooting 5-for-32 in Game 1.

More importantly the Lakers defense dominated Portland, never letting Damian Lillard and company find any sustained success. The Blazers overcame a poor shooting night in series opener by getting 33 free throws and cashing in important three-pointers in the final six minutes. But in Game 2 they attempted just 13 free throws and lost contact in the second quarter and never recovered to give their long-range attack a chance to swing the game.

Lillard had 18 points on 6-for-14 shooting. CJ McCollum added 13 points on 6-for-16 shooting and no other Blazer reached double-figures.

The Lakers flexed their muscle in Game 2, looking like the West’s top seed. But the Blazers chances hang on Lillard’s health and availability, regardless of how dominant Los Angeles can play at its best.

3 Takeaways 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="What about Bron?» data-reactid=»36″>What about Bron?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The conventional wisdom heading into Game 2 was that LeBron James was going to be more assertive looking for his own offense after his team dropped Game 1. Instead, James finished with 10 points on 4-for-11 shooting, adding seven assists and six turnovers.&nbsp;» data-reactid=»37″>The conventional wisdom heading into Game 2 was that LeBron James was going to be more assertive looking for his own offense after his team dropped Game 1. Instead, James finished with 10 points on 4-for-11 shooting, adding seven assists and six turnovers. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Stalling out» data-reactid=»38″>Stalling out

The Blazers came into the game averaging 126 points per game in the bubble, a sizzling offense that had carried a shaky defense team into the playoffs. But after surviving an off-shooting in Game 1 where they won despite shooting 39 percent from the floor, the Blazers had one of their worst offensive performances of the season.

The Lakers defense made life extremely difficult for Portland, which shot 36 percent from the floor and finished with a season low 88 points.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Next Up» data-reactid=»41″>Next Up

Game 3 is Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on ABC

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Check back for reaction from the locker room!

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Instant Analysis: Damian Lillard injured in Blazers blowout loss to Lakers originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest» data-reactid=»45″>Instant Analysis: Damian Lillard injured in Blazers blowout loss to Lakers originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest