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The Rundown: Lakers lose to Blazers in critical game

May 8, 2021, 2:30 PM ● Chuck Araneta

The LeBron James-less Lakers suffered yet another loss, this time to the Blazers in a game that had massive playoff implications.

Scoreboard

Sixers 109, Pelicans 107
Bulls 121, Celtics 99
Hornets 122, Magic 112
Heat 121, Timberwolves 112
Bucks 141, Rockets 133
Mavericks 110, Cavaliers 90
Jazz 127, Nuggets 120
Suns 128, Knicks 105
Trail Blazers 106, Lakers 101
Spurs 113, Kings 104

What went down

We don’t want this column to be a daily update on the Los Angeles Lakers. After all, there are 29 other teams with their own stories and superstars that deserve equal opportunity coverage and print space. But with this latest unfortunate event, how can you not talk about what’s happening to the defending champions?

The Portland Trail Blazers deserve a ton of credit for hacking out a 106-101 victory against the undermanned Lakers. Playing in front of fans for the first time at the MODA Center, Portland recovered from a sluggish start, feeding off the energy of the crowd for a superior finish.

The consequences of the Blazers’ win was huge and could have lasting effects on the rest of this season. For one, they’ve leapfrogged the Lakers in the team standings and currently occupy the sixth seed. Not only that, should Portland and Los Angeles finish with the same record, the Blazers that get the higher seeding. And if both teams finish in the sixth-seventh range, it will be the Lakers that will fall to seventh and into the play-in tournament.

Is anyone feeling sorry for the Lakers? Absolutely not. They smashed through the competition last season inside the Orlando bubble and were toying with opponents with LeBron James and Anthony Davis at full strength. But this is a completely different team. They will definitely make the playoffs, and the health of James is of utmost concern. But will they be able to make a deep run playing from behind for the rest of the season? Only time will tell. 

Big-time baller

Jordan Clarkson hit big shots and was mean-mugging for the Jazz all game long, but no one could outshine the spectacular scoring of Bojan Bogdanovic. He was on fire the entire game, enroute to a career-high 48 points on eight made triples. An absolutely scintillating performance. 

What he said

''He certainly takes a lot of hits. We've been on the referees hard. I know I have been every game.'' — New Orleans Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy, stating his theory about why Zion Williamson is out indefinitely after fracturing his ring finger.

Did you see that?

Luka Doncic became the fourth youngest player in NBA history with 5,000 points. Only LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony got to that milestone before he did.

Also, here’s Boban Marjanovic showing his elite footie skills.

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