Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 1/11

Game 1: Wednesday, January 11th
Lakers103Final
Trail Blazers113
Game 2: Tuesday, February 21st
Trail Blazers82Final
Lakers99
Game 3: Wednesday, March 1st
Lakers93Final
Trail Blazers99
Game 4: Friday, April 14th
Trail Blazers99Final
Lakers110

Lakers 93

(29-29, 13-18 away)

Trail Blazers 99

(19-38, 13-16 home)

7:00 PM ET, March 1, 2006

Moda Center, Portland, OR

1 2 3 4 T
LAL 21 19 23 3093
POR 18 29 30 2299

Top Performers

Los Angeles: K. Bryant 35 Pts, 6 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

Portland: S. Blake 19 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

Blazers top Lakers to halt skid at six

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- As the clock ran down and the Lakers started sneaking up on the Trail Blazers, the Portland players heard something that had been missing in recent weeks -- the hometown fans were getting into the game.

"Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!" the more than 19,000 fans chanted in unison, showing more enthusiasm than they had last month, when the Blazers went 2-11.

The players took the plea to heart and beat the Lakers 99-93 Wednesday night to snap a six-game losing streak. Zach Randolph had 20 points and eight rebounds.

"I'm sure some people were thinking the Lakers were going to come back, but the crowd was great and they got behind us," grinning Portland coach Nate McMillan said.

Darius Miles stripped the ball from Smush Parker and went in for a dunk with 10.6 seconds left to seal it for the Blazers, who led by as many as 16 points.

Kobe Bryant, who said he was hampered by a sinus infection, scored 35 points for the Lakers, who have lost three of four as they jockey for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Travis Outlaw's dunk put Portland ahead 73-57 late in the third quarter. With the Lakers making a comeback in the fourth, Outlaw hit a jumper with 7:13 left that made it 84-74.

The Lakers narrowed it to 90-85 on Bryant's jumper with 3:20 left and the game appeared to be slipping away from Portland.

After Luke Walton made a pair of free throws, Parker's driving finger-roll got the Lakers within 92-89 with 1:39 to go.

Steve Blake hit a pair of free throws for the Blazers before Lamar Odom's layup narrowed it to 94-91. Blake hit a 21-foot jumper, but Odom was able to capitalize on Bryant's missed 3-pointer with a reverse layup, making it 96-93.

Odom finished with 16 points for the Lakers.

"Some games you have to do the right thing basketball-wise to win and we can't seem to do that," Odom said. "We don't play a good offensive game and we can't win. That puts Kobe in a bind. He's got to get 35 or 40 points for us to win. We should be embarrassed. I know I am."

Blake added 19 points for the Blazers.

Portland's recent struggles on the court were compounded by upheaval off it. Billionaire owner Paul Allen has made it known that the team is losing money, and wants some kind of public-private partnership to keep it afloat.

The move stunned many Blazers fans and prompted NBA commissioner David Stern to comment, "It's our preference, our strong preference, to have the Blazers in Portland, in Oregon, playing at the Rose Garden and being able to be a financial success."

The Blazers pulled it together on the court to beat the rival Lakers,

Portland went on a 12-4 run in the second quarter, capped by Blake's 3-pointer and Miles' layup, to take a 44-32 lead, its biggest to that point. Portland went on to lead 47-40 at the half.

Bryant got off to a slow start, hitting just 3-of-13 from the field. He was, however, 6-for-6 from the free throw line to give him 12 points at the break.

He was 15-of-15 from the line for the game.

"I'm just achy. You've got to push through it," Bryant said. "My teammates talked about doing a better job trying to pick me up sometimes and not having me shoulder the whole load all the time."

Portland coach Nate McMillan shook up his lineup by starting newly acquired forward Brian Skinner instead of Miles.

Skinner came to Portland from Sacramento as part of a four-team, nine-player trade at the deadline last week. Skinner finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.

Portland has used six different lineups in the last six games.

"It was frustrating there for a little while. You're confidence can get down," Blake said. "Winning changes everything."

Game notes


The season series between the teams stands at 2-1 in favor of the Blazers. ... One fan weighed in on the off-court turmoil with a sign: "Blazer fans! Unite and support your team!" ... Attendance was announced at 19,454, just short of the 19,860 capacity at the Rose Garden.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
LAL
POR
Points 93 99
FGM-FGA 34-74 (.459) 40-84 (.476)
3PM-3PA 2-16 (.125) 6-12 (.500)
FTM-FTA 23-26 (.885) 13-18 (.722)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 5-34 10-42
Assists 15 17
Turnovers 17 17
Steals 10 9
Blocks 4 4
Fast Break Points 16 11
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 22 (1/0)
Largest Lead 4 16

Top Performers

Los Angeles
Portland
Kobe Bryant Bryant
Points: 35
Reb: 6
Ast: 5
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Steve Blake Blake
Points: 19
Reb: 3
Ast: 5
Stl: 1
Blk: 0