A look back at the Blazers-Lakers rivalry
The Portland Trail Blazers open up the 2018-19 season on Thursday by welcoming the rival Los Angeles Lakers to Moda Center.
There have been plenty of epic battles between these two, and this time around should be no different. But before we get to tipoff on Thursday, let's look back at some of the greatest games these two teams have played against each other...
1977 Western Conference Finals
We all know the Trail Blazers won the NBA championship in 1977, but do you remember who they beat to get there? That’s right, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Portland dominated from start to finish, pulling off the 4-0 sweep of the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. Not even the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar could knock off the Blazers that season.
April 20, 2005: Blazers 106 – Lakers 103
This was one of those games that you will remember forever. Two non-playoff teams pushed to their greatest levels with the rivalry as a backdrop. In the last game of the season, the 34-47 Lakers took on the 26-55 Blazers. Travis Outlaw led the Blazers with 20 points off the bench, and “The Kobe Stopper” Ruben Patterson chipped in 18. Kobe scored 37 points that night, but Patterson and Victor Kryapa kept him from scoring on the Lakers final possession in overtime and forced a jumped ball. Portland won the ensuing tip, and the game 106-103. This game was as epic as they come.
Watch some highlights HERE
Lillard game-winner in 2017
Early in 2017 rookie Lonzo Ball and the Lakers came to town just to watch the clock strike Lillard Time. Damian Lillard led all scorers with 37 points, but none bigger than the three he scored with one second left in regulation. Tied at 110 Lillard found himself one-on-one with Brandon Ingram. Lillard stepped back beyond the three-point line and drilled a three over the outstretched hand of Ingram to give Portland the lead. Lillard does what Lillard does.
Summer League 2018
We are the champions (of the Las Vegas Summer League)! The Blazers went to Sin City, blew through the competition, and took down the defending summer league champs in blowout fashion. The Lakers came in undefeated as well, but couldn’t get it rolling against the tough Blazers defense. Six Blazers scored in double figures and the Blazers cruised to the 91-73 victory. Sure, it may be Summer League, but judging by the amount of Lakers fans in attendance that night, you know this one stung (and we love it).
Relive the magic HERE
2000 Western Conference Finals
They can’t all be winners, can they? The 2000 Western Conference Finals was the Portland-LA rivalry at its best. Two juggernauts exchanging body blows game after the game. It came down to a winner take all Game 7, and for most of the game it looked like Portland would be heading to the NBA Finals. After three quarters Portland led 71-58, but then the Lakers flipped the switch. LA outscored Portland 31-13 in the fourth, and the now famous lob from Kobe to Shaq was the final body blow of this epic series. The outcome was not what fans wanted, but the series itself was everything a fan could hope for.