Trail Blazers vs. Lakers score, takeaways: Los Angeles dominates Game 2 to even series with Portland –

It looks like the Lakers are going to be just fine. After a humbling Game 1 loss to the No. 8 seeded Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers roared back and beat the stuffing out of the Blazers in Game 2, 111-88. They were led by a stellar outing from Anthony Davis, who gave them 31 points, 11 rebounds and top-notch defense. More importantly, after shooting a dreadful 5-of-32 on 3-pointers in the opener, the Lakers hit 14-38 of them tonight. 

Now the pressure is on Portland to respond, and they won’t be at 100 percent as they attempt to do so. Damian Lillard dislocated his left index finger in the third quarter, and even if he plays, he will likely be less than his typical superstar self. That only adds to Portland’s disappointment after such a big blowout. The Lakers took Portland’s best punch in Game 1. Now they’re in control with the first two games in the books. 

Here are three takeaways from the game:

1. Anthony Davis asserted himself

It wasn’t the 31 points from Anthony Davis that swung this game for the Lakers. It was how he got them. While he rained jumpers in the second half, 16 of his 21 first-half points came from the paint. After getting bullied inside by Hassan Whiteside and Jusuf Nurkic in Game 1, that is exactly what the Lakers needed. 

Size has been their identity all season long. While it has come with drawbacks in terms of perimeter defense and shooting, the Lakers should never lose a game in the trenches as they did in Game 1. Tonight’s win was a reminder that the Lakers still own the paint, and Davis led the way. 

2. Where are Portland’s points going to come from? 

The Blazers averaged 126 points per game in their eight seeding games. They are averaging 94 per game against the Lakers, and that’s after 30 garbage-time points in the fourth quarter of Game 2. Now Lillard is dealing with an injury, and while he is likely to play in Game 3, they can’t afford a lessened version of him. It took 61 points from him just to beat the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. What is it going to take for them to beat the Lakers? Especially with CJ McCollum dealing with a fractured lower back

Carmelo Anthony averaged 16.5 points per game on 45.6 percent shooting during the seeding games. He is 4-of-17 from the field. Gary Trent Jr. shot over 50 percent from behind the arc in his eight seeding games. He has only 13 total points in this series. Someone other than Lillard and McCollum is going to have to score for the Blazers to have any sort of chance in this series. It’s not as though the Lakers shot the lights out in this game. Their 36.8 percent mark on 3s is essentially what they should average for the series. If Portland can’t keep up with that, their playoff run is going to be over in a matter of days. 

3. LeBron in the post is still killer

It’s a minor note, especially given how passive LeBron was in general in Game 2, but for a stretch in the second quarter, he absolutely obliterated Gary Trent in the post. The Blazers had no choice but to double, and LeBron, being the NBA’s best post-passer by far, killed them by hitting the open man. 

It won’t have much bearing on an uneven series like this, but it’s a storyline to watch with the Rockets looming in Round 2. LeBron is probably going to play some center in that series, and his ability to draw doubles in the post (which Houston loves to throw out) is going to create a lot of good looks for the Lakers.