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Defense carries Portland to big second half, 108-87 win at Los Angeles


Ed DavisThe Trail Blazers took an unconventional route to their 10th consecutive win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

They used defense.

Portland limited Los Angeles to 30 second-half points and steadily pulled away in the fourth quarter to win 108-87 on Tuesday at Stapes Center.

The Blazers improved to 17-23, 7-15 on the road. They sit in eighth place in the Western Conference.

The Lakers fell to 15-27 and are 14th in the conference.

It was Portland's sixth consecutive win over the Lakers at Staples Center.

CJ McCollum scored 25 points to lead the Blazers' offense — his eighth consecutive game with at least 25 points.

After scoring only two points on 1-of-10 shooting in the first half, Damian Lilllard scored 18 points in the second half to help Portland pull away.

The Lakers' 85 points were a season-low for a Blazers' opponent. Los Angeles shot only 29 percent in the second half.

Lillard had 11 points in the third quarter as the Blazers outscored the Lakers 23-12 to build a 78-69 lead. The 12 points was the lowest scoring quarter of the season for the Lakers and the fewest points in a quarter this season for a Blazers' opponent.

Al-Farouq Aminu had a season-high 15 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots. Ed Davis played 21 minutes after not playing against Detroit and was part of the defensive unit that shut down the Lakers in the third quarter. He contributed eight rebounds, a steal and eight points.

Moe Harkless had 14 points, three blocked whots and five rebounds and Mason Plumlee 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.

The Blazers surge started in the late stages of the second quarter as they outscored the Lakers 10-4 over the final 2:40 of the first half to pull within 57-55.

From the time the Lakers led 53-45, the Blazers outscored them 63-34.

The Blazers finished 7 for 21 on 3-pointers and outrebounded the Lakers 50-38.

Poor foul shooting hurt the Lakers, who finished 14 of 26 from the foul line.

Luol Deng's 14 points led the scoring for the Lakers, but he scored 13 of those in the first half.

The Lakers' high-scoring bench accounted for 42 points, but that was only 12 more than the 30 points produced by the Portland bench.

Weather permitting, the Blazers play host to the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (KGW TV).

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