The Blazers made them earn it, but after losing the series opener, the Lakers are officially moving on to the second round after four straight wins. The Blazers kept up all night even without Damian Lillard, but ultimately, the Lakers pulled away late in the fourth quarter. A late 20-7 run put Portland away, 131-122, and the LeBron James-Anthony Davis combination scored 79 points on the way to victory. The Lakers now await the winner between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder to determine who their second-round opponent will be.
The Blazers, meanwhile, put up a valiant effort, but their injuries ultimately doomed what could have been a promising season. Without Lillard, Trevor Ariza, Rodney Hood and Zach Collins, they managed to make a No. 1 seed sweat. That won’t mean much in the record books, but it’s an encouraging sign for next season. If these teams meet in the 2021 playoffs, expect a far closer series if the Blazers can get back to full strength.