Portland Trail Blazers Drop Lakers to 0-3

Damian Lillard scored 41 points, and the Portland Trail Blazers held off the Lakers for a 106-104 win at Crypto.com Arena.

The loss was the third straight for the Lakers, while Portland is now 3-0 and sitting on top of the Western Conference.

The teams traded baskets in the closing minute with Lillard hitting a three-pointer, with 12.4 left in the game to put the Trail Blazers up by two points.

LeBron James came right back and tied the game on a drive to the basket, only to be upstaged by Jerami Grant, who connected on a layup to put the Blazers up by two and seal the victory.

“He [Jeremi Grant] came up big for us, but that’s what our season is gonna be about all year. It’s gonna be about trust, and it’s going to be about staying together and continuing to fight,” said Lillard after the game.

Grant had 16 points, and Anfernee Simmons had 12 points as the only Trail Blazers besides Lillard scoring in double figures.

But Josh Hart (16), and Jusuf Nurkic (13) came up big on the boards for Portland, which out-rebounded the Lakers by 12.

Lillard shot 60 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from behind the arc after the Blazers jumped out to an eight-point lead after the first quarter.

“They’ve been a great team since LeBron arrived and just knowing what type of game it’s going to be, I just now I’ve gotta get my rest and put my best foot forward,” said Lillard.

James had 31 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists and tied Karl Malone for the most 20-point games in NBA history.

But the King missed a last-second jumper to tie the game.

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James got confrontational when reporters questioned him about the final minutes.

“I hate to lose, especially the way we had this game. But give credit to Portland,” said James. “You guys can write about Russ. All the things you guys want to talk about Russ. I’m not up here to do that.”

Westbrook had 10 points on 26.7 percent shooting.