Los Angeles faces Portland in conference showdown
Portland Trail Blazers (18-13, fifth in the Western Conference) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (22-11, third in the Western Conference)
Los Angeles; Friday, 10 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: The Portland Trail Blazers visit the Los Angeles Lakers in a matchup of two of the top teams in the Western Conference.
The Lakers are 15-6 in Western Conference games. Los Angeles is eighth in the league with 14.4 fast break points per game led by LeBron James averaging 3.9.
The Trail Blazers are 9-8 in conference games. Portland ranks fourth in the Western Conference shooting 38.3% from downtown. CJ McCollum leads the Trail Blazers shooting 44.1% from 3-point range.
The two teams square off for the second time this season. The Trail Blazers defeated the Lakers 115-107 in their last meeting on Dec. 28. Damian Lillard led Portland with 31 points, and James paced Los Angeles scoring 29 points.
TOP PERFORMERS: James leads the Lakers averaging 2.4 made 3-pointers, and is scoring 25.6 points per game while shooting 35.1% from beyond the arc. Montrezl Harrell is averaging 15.3 points and 6.9 rebounds while shooting 63.7% over the last 10 games for Los Angeles.
Lillard is averaging 29.6 points and 4.4 rebounds for the Trail Blazers. Gary Trent Jr. is averaging 18.3 points and 2.8 rebounds while shooting 44.8% over the last 10 games for Portland.
LAST 10 GAMES: Lakers: 5-5, averaging 110.5 points, 44.6 rebounds, 24.7 assists, 7.2 steals and 6.4 blocks per game while shooting 47.5% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 113.1 points on 45.8% shooting.
Trail Blazers: 6-4, averaging 113.1 points, 45.1 rebounds, 18.6 assists, 5.6 steals and 5.6 blocks per game while shooting 45.0% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 113.8 points on 46.9% shooting.
INJURIES: Lakers: Dennis Schroder: out (health and safety protocols), Anthony Davis: out (achilles).
Trail Blazers: Jusuf Nurkic: out (wrist), Harry Giles III: day to day (calf), Zach Collins: out (ankle), CJ McCollum: out (left foot).
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