NBA: Lakers halt skid, get back on track with win over Trail Blazers

Field Level Media via Reuters

Posted at Dec 29 2019 02:12 PM | Updated as of Dec 29 2019 03:01 PM

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum (3) loses the ball as Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) defends at Moda Center. Jaime Valdez, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

LeBron James scored 21 points, matched his season best of 16 assists and also collected seven rebounds while playing through a groin injury to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 128-120 victory over the host Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

Kyle Kuzma scored a team-high 24 points and Anthony Davis added 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists as Los Angeles halted a season-worst, four-game losing streak. Rajon Rondo tallied 15 points, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 13 and Dwight Howard had 11 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.

Damian Lillard recorded 31 points and nine assists for the Trail Blazers, who lost their third straight game. Hassan Whiteside recorded 19 points and 16 rebounds, CJ McCollum scored 18 points, Anfernee Simons added 14, Carmelo Anthony had 13 and Anthony Tolliver tallied 12.

The Lakers have won four of the past five meetings with Portland after losing the previous 16.

Los Angeles shot 51.6 percent from the field, including 11 of 32 from 3-point range. The Trail Blazers shot 47.7 percent and were 15 of 35 from behind the arc.

The Lakers led, 85-75, after Davis' basket with 7:45 left in the third quarter before the Trail Blazers scored the next 11 points to take the lead.

Los Angeles later went on a quarter-ending 13-4 run to take a 103-95 lead into the final stanza.

Caldwell-Pope buried a 3-pointer from the left corner on the fast break to give the Lakers a 118-107 advantage with 3:55 remaining.

Caldwell-Pope knocked down another 3-pointer from the left corner 61 seconds later to make it 123-112.

James recorded assist No. 16 in stellar fashion with an alley-oop to Davis, who slammed the ball home to make it 127-115 with 1:37 left to put the game away.

Kuzma scored 20 first-half points on 7-of-9 shooting to help the Lakers take a 71-64 lead. Lillard had 16 points for Portland.

James didn't look too bothered by his groin injury when he started strong with 10 points to help Los Angeles lead, 34-32, after the opening quarter.

The Lakers led, 62-49, after two free throws from Davis with 5:16 remaining in the second quarter before the Trail Blazers cut the margin to seven heading into the break.

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