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  • 30 Aug 2014

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Too much Kobe in Blazers' loss at L.A.

LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant converted 4 of 4 free throws over the final 12.9 points as the Los Angeles Lakers finished off Portland 111-107 Friday night at Staples Center.

Bryant scored 29 of his game-high 40 points in the second half as the Lakers (27-29) handed the Trail Blazers (25-30) their season-high seventh straight loss.

J.J. Hickson had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Nicolas Batum collected 22 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals for Portland, which led 99-95 with 5 1/2 minutes remaining and was still on top 103-102 after Damian Lillard's driving layup with 4:07 to go.

The Lakers led 105-103 when Lillard scored on a drive to tie it at 105-105 with 2 minutes remaining. But Steve Nash -- 1 for 10 from the field to that point -- scored on a step-back jumper, and the Lakers were back in front 107-105 with 1:44 left.

After several changes of possession, Portland had a final chance to tie, but LaMarcus Aldridge missed a fadeaway 15-footer with 16 seconds left and the Lakers rebounded.

Bryant knocked down a pair at the line with 12.9 seconds remaining to make it 109-105. Batum answered with a long 2-pointer -- it was ruled his toe was on the 3-point line -- to close the margin to 109-107 with 10.7 seconds to go.

Bryant went to the line again, sinking two with 8.9 seconds on the clock, for a 111-107 advantage.

Hickson scored 10 of the Blazers' first 24 points, and the score was 28-28 after one quarter. Hickson -- who was 8 for 10 from the field had 16 points and five rebounds in the first half -- buried a 20-footer at the buzzer to give Portland a 55-53 lead at halftime. Bryant scored L.A.'s first 13 points and had 18 total points in the third quarter but Portland went into the final period ahead 82-80.

Hickson's layup closed a 7-0 Blazer run for a 99-95 advantage, but it was downhill from there for the local quintet.

NOTES -- Portland's next action is Sunday night against Boston. … It was Hickson's 29th double-double of the season. He was 11 for 15 from the field, extending his franchise record to 18 straight games shooting 50 percent of better. … Lillard had 19 points and seven assists with one turnover in 40 minutes but was only 9 for 22 from the field. … Aldridge struggled with his shot, making 6 of 19 from the field. He finished with 15 points and six rebounds in 34 foul-plagued minutes. … Wesley Matthews, who missed Tuesday's loss to Phoenix with a sprained ankle, contributed 15 points and eight assists and made 4 of 7 3-pointers, including a pair in the fourth quarter. … the Blazers got positive contributions from rookies Meyers Leonard (four points, four rebounds, 2 for 3 from the field) and Will Barton (five points, including a three-point play in the fourth quarter, and five rebounds) off the bench. … Dwight Howard had 19 points and 16 rebounds for the Lakers, who won the game at the foul line, sinking 25 of 34 attempts to the Blazers' 7 of 12. … Bryant was 15 for 23 from the field and 9 for 9 from the line. He had seven rebounds and four assists in 36 minutes. Antawn Jamison collected 16 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench for L.A. … Portland drew two technical fouls in the final six minutes -- one on Aldridge and one on Matthews. … the Blazers shot .489 from the field and .400 from 3-point range but were beaten 56-38 in points in the paint.