The Lakers have had an advantage over the Trail Blazers the last five times they squared off in the playoffs. Portland will look to change that this year.
The 2020 regular-season matchups between Portland and LA
These two teams met three times during the regular season before the coronavirus pandemic suspended the season. So, they are pretty familiar with one another. The Lakers won the regular-season series 2-1. Single digits decided two of the games. When the teams first played each other back in December, the Lakers dominated that game.
The dynamic duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis stole the show during the first meeting between the two teams. Both players had impressive games and scored over 30 points. James finished with 31, and Davis had 39. The Lakers came away with a 136-113 victory over the Trail Blazers. The second game between the two teams was much closer, but it was the same result for the Lakers. LA came into the game with a four-game losing and was looking to turn things around. Portland played much better during the second matchup and had an impressive performance from Damian Lillard, who finished with a game-high 31 points and also added nine assists. The Lakers didn’t have their best performance but still came out with a 128-120 win and got a big help off the bench from Kyle Kuzma, who had a team-high 24 points.
Portland finally came out with a win during the third and final matchup of the regular season. Lillard had a breakout performance scoring a game-high 48 points to lead Portland to a 127-119 victory. Hassan Whiteside also put together an impressive performance, finishing with 30 points and 13 rebounds. The Trail Blazers were clicking on all cylinders that game. Davis was the leading scorer for the Lakers, finishing with 37 points.
Recent playoff matchups between the Trail Blazers and the Lakers
Both teams have played each other in the playoffs 11 times, going back to 1977. The Lakers have had the edge over the Trail Blazers winning nine series and winning the last five series. LA has swept Portland the last two times they squared off in 2001 and 2002. During the 2000 NBA Playoffs, the two teams had an epic battle during the Western Conference Finals. That series went seven games as the Lakers won the final game 89-84.
If the Lakers didn’t win that series, they would not have won three consecutive NBA championships. These two franchises have had their fair share of history in the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how this series will play out this year.
Do the Trail Blazers have a chance to upset the Lakers?
Portland had a strong finish toward the end of the NBA restart and found themselves making the final spot in the Western Conference Playoffs. Lillard has had an amazing performance during the NBA restart and was named the top player during the NBA restart. The Trail Blazers will look for Lillard to continue his impressive performance going into the playoffs. It’s going to be a tough battle for the Trail Blazers because the Lakers have the size advantage with Davis and James.
Portland’s defense has not been the best during the NBA restart, and that’s something they will need to focus on especially playing against two of the top players in the league. If Portland wants a shot at pulling off an upset, they’ll have to find a way to limit James and Davis’ scoring and force other players to hit shots. The defense will be the main focus of Portland during the series. If James and Davis have multiple games where they score 25 or more, then the odds will not be in Portland’s favor. The first game of the series is on Aug. 18.