Lakers' Losing Streak in Portland Continues

The Lakers never seem to be able to win in Portland, and Friday night was no exception. Playing on the second night of a back-to-back, and without Phil Jackson, L.A. dropped its eighth straight to the Blazers on the road, by a final of 106-98.

L.A. was not without their chances in this one, however. The Lakers led by as many as 10 points in the second quarter, but Portland put together a 9-0 run to cut it to one before a three-ponter from Sasha Vujacic pushed the lead back to four at the break.

The Blazers opened the third on a 17-6 run to go up by six, and the Lakers answered with a 12-2 run to go back up by three. But Portland closed the quarter on a 13-6 run, to carry a lead into the fourth quarter that they would never relinquish.

The Lakers did manage to stay within a point of the Blazers with just under three minutes to go at 99-98, but their fatigue from playing a late night game at home the night before might have caught up with them at that point, as L.A. went the rest of the game without making a field goal while the Blazers were able to pull away for the victory.

Kurt Rambis took over the head coaching duties, as Phil Jackson stayed home with some pain and swelling in his right leg. He's not expected to miss any more games, but given his team's recent history playing in Portland, he's probably glad to have skipped this one.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 32 points, but did so on a fairly dreadful 9-of-24 shooting. Lamar Odom had a solid game off the bench, and chipped in 17 points and 10 rebounds in just 29 minutes.

Andrew Bynum played 31 minutes in his second game back from injury, but managed just 13 points and six rebounds against the Blazers' Greg Oden.

The win was Portland's eighth straight at home over the Lakers, which is something to think about if the teams should meet in the post-season. And the way the playoff seedings are shaking out, a matchup in the second round looks to be extremely likely.

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