The Los Angeles Lakers dominated Game 4 against the Portland Trail Blazers from start to finish.
The Los Angeles Lakers wanted to make Kobe Bryant proud on “Mamba Day,” and they did just that in Game 4, leading from start to finish to take a commanding 3-1 lead in this first-round playoff series.
The Portland Trail Blazers sucker-punched the Lakers in Game 1, but ever since then, the top seed in the Western Conference has looked more like their fully dominant selves, especially against a flawed 8-seed that is having problems stopping anyone at the moment and may have just lost their best player to a knee injury.
LeBron James led the way with 30 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds on 10-of-12 shooting, while Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma chipped in 18 points apiece in limited minutes. The Blazers were led by 20 points and 13 rebounds from Jusuf Nurkic, but they never stood a chance after starting off the night in a huge hole.
What else did you miss in Game 4 between the Lakers and Blazers?
Turning point: The moment the game tipped off
The Lakers dominated Game 4 throughout, and their 15-0 run to start the night off set the tone right off the bat. By the end of the first quarter, they led by a 43-25 margin, which meant the Blazers faced an uphill climb the rest of the way.
By halftime, the Lakers led 80-51. Barring a full-blown meltdown in the second half, all they needed to do in the second half was coast to take a 3-1 advantage in the series. Fortunately for Los Angeles, they didn’t take their foot off the gas in the third quarter, with LeBron’s 36-footer from the logo giving his team a 38-point lead.
This type of result is more of what we expected heading into this first-round series, and with Damian Lillard now hurt, it’s looking like this one’s a wrap.
The Lakers started off the game on a dominant 15-0 run, but the beauty of it didn’t become clear until a few minutes later, when the score was 24-8 on Mamba Day:
This was probably the most fitting, unplanned tribute the Lakers could’ve offered up to the late Black Mamba, especially since it came in a game they controlled from start to finish.
The outcome was never in doubt, but Portland’s night went from awful to downright miserable when Damian Lillard exited Game 4 with a right knee injury. He was ruled out for the rest of the night and received an MRI before the game was even over.
Now the Blazers will anxiously await the results as they prepare for an elimination Game 5, but unless there’s close to no issue, Rip City might be wise to keep him sidelined and just embrace the end of their season. Game 4 put Portland in a 3-1 hole, and a hobbled Lillard won’t swing the tide of this suddenly lopsided series. In fact, all it’d do is put the Blazers’ franchise star at risk heading into 2020-21.
All of this is speculation until we get a more detailed diagnosis, but at least Blazers fans can take solace in Dame being the player of the seeding games during the NBA bubble and how fantastic he was in carrying Portland to the 8-seed in the Western Conference. Hopefully this is just a minor setback that does not impact his 2020-21 season in any way, shape or form.