The Los Angeles Lakers' (30-18) new point guard wasted no time making a name for himself in his first LA start, finishing with a double double as the Lakers held on in a hot one against the Portland Trailblazers (22-26) 103-96. This is the fifth time in the last seven games that the Lakers have scored more than 100 points, in their first eight games of the season the Lakers only managed that once. The Lakers remain in third place in the Western Conference.
Most importantly for the Lakers, it was a game where everyone got involved. Andrew Bynum led the Lakers with 28 points, but all five starters finished in double digit scoring; plus nine points from Matt Barnes. Ramon Sessions led the Lakers with 11 assists, as the team set a new season high of 33 assists. Sessions also finished with 20 points, his 34th such game in his career.
Paul Gasol didn't score much tonight, only ten points, but did get a double double pulling down 16 points. For the Lakers earlier in the year, a game where Kobe Bryant only scored 18 points might have been trouble. He started out 5-6, but missed all 11 attempts in the second half. The team had enough of a rhythm tonight that every player doing one aspect of the game well was just enough.
The Lakers out-rebounded the Blazers 53-29, only allowing six offensive rebounds. Despite being close down the stretch, the Lakers never trailed and the tempo controlling rebounding has a lot to do with it. The Lakers had 17 offensive rebounds.
Next for the Lakers, a Sunday night game at Staples Center. For more on the Lakers, check out Silver Screen and Roll.