LeBron James scored 30 points on 10-of-12 shooting and also had 10 assists and six rebounds to help the Los Angeles Lakers steamroll the Portland Trail Blazers 135-115 in Game 4 of the National Basketball Association’s Western Conference first-round series on Monday (Aug 24).
Anthony Davis had 18 points, five rebounds and five assists in 18 minutes before exiting in the third quarter due to back spasms as Los Angeles took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Portland star Damian Lillard also departed in the third quarter with a right knee injury and had just 11 points in 27 minutes.
Kyle Kuzma scored 18 points and Danny Green added 14 as the Lakers cruised to the dominant wire-to-wire victory. Dwight Howard had 13 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 12 for Los Angeles.
Jusuf Nurkic recorded 20 points and 13 rebounds and CJ McCollum scored 18 for the Trail Blazers. Carmelo Anthony tallied 16 points, Gary Trent Jr added 13, Mario Hezonja and Hassan Whiteside had 11 apiece and Wenyen Gabriel scored 10.
The Lakers will attempt to clinch the series in Wednesday’s Game 5.
Los Angeles shot 56.3 per cent from the field, including 17 of 39 from three-point range.
Lillard, who was playing with a dislocated left index finger suffered in Game 2, had just 3-of-9 shooting before exiting. Portland finished at 44.9 per cent and was 12 of 28 from behind the arc.
Los Angeles rolled from the outset by scoring the first 15 points. The lead reached 20 for the first time when Kuzma drained a three-pointer to make it 30-10 with 3min 42sec left, and it was at 24 later in the quarter before the Lakers settled for a 43-25 advantage heading into the second quarter.
James buried a three-pointer to make it 76-46 with 1:05 remaining in the half before Los Angeles took an 80-51 lead into the break.
James connected on a three-pointer from 36 feet to cap an 11-0 run to increase the score to 91-53 with 9:21 left in the third quarter. Davis departed at that point due to the back issues.
Lillard was hurt just over two minutes later and eventually exited with 5:18 remaining, and the contest continued to be one-sided the rest of the way.