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Lakers eye third straight win, host Trail Blazers
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Latest Line: Portland -2.5 O/U: 228.5
 
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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers will attempt to win three in a row for only the second time this season when they face the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday at Staples Center.

A 111-95 win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday allowed the Lakers (15-26) to capture two straight victories for the first time in 31 games. The Lakers hadn't won consecutive games since defeating the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans in November. The last time Los Angeles claimed three straight wins was Nov. 2-6 when they beat the Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns.

Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram played a prominent role in the last two decisions, which also included a 27-point rout of the Miami Heat on Friday. Ingram has matched his career-best with 17 points in back-to-back contests, shooting 6-of-9 from the floor in both games.

"He is doing everything out there," Los Angeles forward Julius Randle said of Ingram. "Defending, making shots, blocking shots, playing a little bit of point (guard) and is being very versatile out there and he is helping us out a lot."

Randle and point guard D'Angelo Russell also have made valuable contributions. Randle scored a team-high 19 points and collected nine rebounds in Sunday's win. In the last 10 games, Randle is averaging 17.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists and is shooting 51.1 percent during that stretch.

Russell has delivered with 20.8 points, five assists and 5.2 rebounds in five games this month.

"I think we all knew they had the talent to be really good, but I think the fact that they really stepped up their professionalism as far as the way they're treating their bodies and approaching practice and every opportunity," Lakers coach Luke Walton said. "It's just a direct result of that."

The Trail Blazers (16-23) have been one of the NBA's biggest disappointments this season. Portland has lost nine of its last 12 games, including a 125-124 double overtime defeat by the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

C.J. McCollum scored 35 points to lead the way for the Blazers against the Pistons, but McCollum missed a game-winning shot at the buzzer.

"I got the shot I wanted, came up a little short," said McCollum, who scored 14 points after regulation. "That happens. We were right there, man. We got stops when we needed to get stops. We kept ourselves in the game. Just that one last possession."

McCollum has been on a roll for Portland. He has scored at least 20 points in seven straight games and topped at least 30 points in nine contests this season.

In five games in January, McCollum is scoring 35 points per contest. He's put up an average of 28.2 points in his last 10 games.

Despite McCollum's outstanding play this season, Damian Lillard remains the Blazers' leader. The point guard averages a team-high 26.6 points and 6.3 assists per game.

The Trail Blazers have owned the Lakers in recent times, winning a franchise-record nine in a row over Los Angeles. Portland recorded a 118-109 decision over the Lakers on Jan. 5 in Portland behind McCollum's 27 points and 21 more from Lillard.

 


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