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Lakers fall to 0-2, Steve Nash hurt in 116-106 loss to Blazers

Dwight Howard makes 15 of 19 free throws to lead the Lakers with 33 points and 14 rebounds. Nash has a bruised lower left leg.

October 31, 2012|By Jim Peltz
  • Lakers power forward Pau Gasol and point guard Steve Nash (10) trap Blazers point guard Nolan Smith in the first half Wednesday night in Portland.
Lakers power forward Pau Gasol and point guard Steve Nash (10) trap Blazers… (Don Ryan / Associated Press )

Trail Blazers 116, Lakers 106 (final)

Two losses in two games and Steve Nash is hurt.

This is not how the Lakers wanted to start the regular season.

After Portland overwhelmed the Lakers’ defense in the third quarter to take a 16-point lead, the Trail Blazers kept the Lakers at bay in the final quarter to comfortably secure the win Wednesday night at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.

Throw in their 0-for-8 preseason record, and the current Lakers have yet to win a game despite the addition of Dwight Howard, Nash and others to their roster.

PHOTOS: Lakers vs. Trail Blazers

The Lakers played with more intensity than in their season-opening loss Tuesday, but the effort was undercut by the Lakers’ 24 turnovers and an ineffective defense.

All five Portland starters scored in double figures, and three scored 20 or more points: Nicolas Batum (26), Damian Lillard (23) and Wesley Matthews (22). Their star power forward, LaMarcus Aldridge, added 19.

The Lakers’ frustration was evident when Kobe Bryant drew a technical foul after he didn’t get a foul call he wanted with 8:04 left in the fourth quarter. Moments later, Bryant dropped a pass and the ball went out of bounds to Portland.

Howard played aggressively all night, and the center led the Lakers with 33 points and 14 rebounds. He also made 15 of 19 free throws.

Bryant added 30 points and the Lakers overall made 36 of 72 shots (50%) from the field.

Nash played 16 minutes and had four assists before he bruised his left leg late in the second quarter and was forced to leave the game. He started the third quarter but left after a couple of trips up and down the court.

The Lakers will try again Friday to win their first game of the season, this time against the Clippers at Staples Center.

Trail Blazers 92, Lakers 76 (end of third quarter)

The Lakers struggled to stay in the game after point guard Steve Nash left with a leg injury early in the third quarter.

As the Rose Garden crowd chanted “Beat L.A.!,” the Trail Blazers went on a 13-0 run at the end of the third quarter when the Lakers’ defense faltered badly.

The Lakers also had committed a startling 20 turnovers through three quarters.

Dwight Howard led the Lakers’ scoring with 29 points and was 13 for 16 from the free-throw line.

Kobe Bryant added 21 points after shooting seven for 13 from the field, including four for seven from three-point range.

Announcers on Time Warner Cable SportsNet, which carried the Lakers’ game, reported that Nash suffered a bruise on his lower left leg and would not return Wednesday night.

Update

Steve Nash left the game with 10:44 left in the third quarter after hurting his left leg in a collision with Portland’s Damian Lillard near the end of the second quarter.

Nash, 38, started the third quarter with his leg wrapped in a brace. But after hobbling up and down the court a couple of times, Nash could not continue and he returned to the Lakers’ locker room.

It wasn’t immediately known how long the eight-time All-Star might be sidelined.

Trail Blazers 62, Lakers 57 (Halftime)

Steve Nash limped off the court with about 2:30 left in the second quarter after it appeared one of the Trail Blazers stepped on Nash’s left foot. The extent of the injury wasn’t immediately known.

Meanwhile, Dwight Howard’s free-throw shooting improved from the previous night, which was good news for the Lakers because the Trail Blazers repeatedly fouled the Lakers’ center.

But the Lakers still trailed at halftime in the face of Portland’s balanced scoring attack and a spree of mistakes by the Lakers, who had 13 turnovers in the half.

The Trail Blazers’ Nicolas Batum scored 19 points in the half, including a three-pointer near the end of second quarter, while Wesley Matthews had 14 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 12.

Portland also leaned heavily on Howard, repeatedly fouling him and putting him on the free-throw line, and it cost the Trail Blazers as Howard made 11 of his 14 free throws in the half.

Kobe Bryant picked up steam in the second quarter, starting with a three-point shot with 6:37 left in the second quarter, and had 17 points overall in the half.

But Bryant also lost the ball when Matthews stole it and fed Batum for a slam dunk.

The Lakers, showing considerably more energy than they did in their season-opening loss Tuesday, shot 18 for 34 (53%) from the field in the half.

Trail Blazers 30, Lakers 26 (end of first quarter)

Led by Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, the Lakers played much more aggressively in the early going Wednesday but trailed Portland at the Rose Garden.

One reason: The Lakers had seven turnovers in the quarter.

Gasol knocked down his first shot, a 19-footer for two points, on his way to leading the Lakers with 10 points. Howard had seven points.

The Lakers, wearing their gold uniforms, made nine of their 19 shots (47%) in the quarter.

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