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Lakers go big, but come up small in 124-112 loss to Trail Blazers

The Lakers use 7-footers Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman together, but the result is the same: another loss in a lost season. The big men have little success.

April 01, 2014|By Mike Bresnahan

The two towers approach delivered a single, familiar result.

Another Lakers loss.

Pau Gasol got his wish, the chance to play next to fellow 7-footer Chris Kaman, but nothing really changed Tuesday in a 124-112 victory by the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center.

Gasol and Kaman didn't show much chemistry together, but was that surprising at all this season?

BOX SCORE: Portland 124, Lakers 112

Also in the predictable file: Steve Nash left in the second quarter because of a sprained left ankle. It was only his 13th game.

Nash, though, actually came back in the third quarter and had 10 points and 10 assists in 22 minutes. So not everything was miserable for the Lakers.

And Nick Young couldn't miss for a while, finishing with 40 points while making 15 of 26 shots.

Beyond that, there wasn't much for the Lakers except the latest experiment gone awry.

Gasol made only four of nine shots, Kaman was even less accurate (six for 16) and the duo combined for only 10 rebounds in 57 minutes.

Gasol lobbied to play next to Kaman before the game, hoping to re-create some of the success they had together in the exhibition season.

"It probably makes sense," Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni said beforehand. "Why not try it again?"

It might not be tried again. It simply didn't work.

Then again, it was Gasol's first action after missing four games because of vertigo. He scored nine points with four rebounds in 28 minutes.

"Definitely, definitely got to do better. We weren't very productive out there together," said Gasol, who experienced lingering effects of his illness while making turns on the court and said he might have come back too soon.

Said Kaman: "I didn't think it went that well. I didn't feel comfortable. I don't think Pau felt comfortable. I think all of it just felt off. It wasn't what I thought it would be."

INTERACTIVE: The Lakers ever-changing lineup

In the ripple-effect category, Jordan Hill's playing time was reduced to zero minutes. Wesley Johnson was also benched for the Lakers (25-49).

Portland had the better two towers, one of them 6-3 point guard Damian Lillard, who scored 34 points and dunked ferociously over Kaman on a second-quarter drive. Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge added 31 points and 15 rebounds for the Trail Blazers (49-27).

Kaman, by the way, showed a different side.

In a departure from his recent anti-D'Antoni rhetoric, he stepped back Tuesday from his persistent needling of the coach's refusal to play him.

"For as much heat as he takes, I don't think he has had a fair shot at it either, with all the injuries," Kaman said. "He's not trying to hurt anybody. He's not purposefully doing anything negatively. I think he's just trying to do the best he can with what we've got."

It was a metaphor for the season. Even the usually combative Kaman was taking the path of least resistance.

Eight more games remaining. Mercifully.

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan

Times correspondent Eric Pincus contributed to this report.

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