Lakers hold off Blazers to win in Portland

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Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) drives to the basket on Portland Trail Blazers forward Jake Layman.​ Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – LeBron James scored 28 points and the visiting Los Angeles Lakers withstood a furious rally by the Portland Trail Blazers to win 114-110 Saturday night.

James passed out seven assists and grabbed five rebounds for the Lakers, who ended a 16-game losing streak against Portland, beating the Blazers for the first time since 2014. Rajon Rondo came off the bench to contribute 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Lakers.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum each scored 30 points for the Blazers, who nearly came back from a 20-point deficit early in the fourth quarter.

McCollum and Lillard combined for 23 points to give Portland a 57-56 lead at the half, despite the Blazers making only 5 of 18 attempts from beyond the arc. James had 13 points for the Lakers.

The Lakers outscored Portland 32-16 in the third quarter to take an 88-73 advantage into the final period. Through three quarters, the Blazers were 6 for 28 on 3-point attempts.

L.A. increased its lead to 95-75 early in the fourth quarter but Portland closed the gap to 99-85 with 6:01 left. Jusuf Nurkic made a free throw to get the Blazers to within 101-90 with 4:53 remaining. After James hit a pair of free throws, Lillard converted consecutive layups and a free throw to draw Portland within 103-95 with 4:01 to play.

Nurkic scored on a layup to cut the Lakers’ edge to 103-97 with 3:35 to go. The Lakers’ Josh Hart and McCollum traded driving layups, and L.A. was ahead 105-99 with 2:36 remaining. James then dunked to up the Lakers’ advantage to 107-99 with 2:18 to play.

McCollum’s layup got Portland to within 107-101 with two minutes to go. James and McCollum traded baskets, and the Lakers led 109-103 with 1:30 left.

Nurkic made 1 of 2 free throws, but the Lakers’ Javale McGee scored on a layup to make it 101-94 with 28 seconds left. McCollum converted a layup to slice the difference to 111-106 with 25.4 seconds to go. Hart split a pair of foul shots, but Meyers Leonard scored on a dunk to get the Blazers to within 112-108 with 10.6 seconds on the clock.

James made a pair of free throw for a 114-108 Lakers lead with 9.8 seconds left. McCollum’s two free throws with 2.5 ticks left wrapped up the scoring.

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