The Lakers could be shorthanded when they face the Trail Blazers Monday night.
Following their 127-91 win over the Timberwolves Sunday night, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel mentioned that both LeBron James (left ankle) and Alex Caruso (strained hand muscle) would be considered questionable for Monday night’s game against Portland.
Sunday, the Lakers were without Anthony Davis who is dealing with a calf strain and was held out of the first leg of the back-to-back. It’s still unclear if Davis will return to the lineup Monday.
As for Portland, Carmelo Anthony did not make the trip to LA. The Blazers announced Sunday night that Melo is not with the team due to Health and Safety Protocols.
The Trail Blazers will also be without Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) and Nassir Little (Health and Safety Protocols) who are listed as OUT.
With James Harden asking for a trade out of Houston and the Trail Blazers on his list of acceptable teams, a player who would seem to have to be included in such a deal would be Portland’s CJ McCollum.
And they went toe-to-toe, with each scoring 44 points in Portland’s 128-126 overtime win over the Rockets. McCollum, though, had the last word, hitting what proved to be the game-winning three-pointer off a pass from Damian Lillard with 6.9 seconds left in overtime.
Harden, as you knew he would, had the ball in his hands for a final play, but the Trail Blazers forced him into the lane, where he tried to make a pass to an open teammate in a corner but the pass was knocked down by Robert Covington and recovered by Portland.
McCollum had 31 of his 44 after halftime. And don’t think he didn’t understand the ramifications of a Portland-Houston deal for Harden -- if that trade is made, it would almost be a sure thing that he would have to be included, for salary and position purposes.
“James opened up his list of more teams. What am I supposed to think? I play the same position as James,” McCollum said. “If there’s a trade for James, who's gonna be in the trade?”
So did the whole thing provide extra motivation for him in this game?
“I don't need to psych myself up to go play against one of the best players in the world,” he said. “James is really good, regardless of what James does in his spare time.”
Read more from Dwight here.
The Blazers are a +3.5 against the Lakers Monday, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about Portland’s first road game of the season --
- This will be the first of three games between the two teams this season. The Trail Blazers make the trip to L.A. again on Feb. 26. The third meeting will occur in Portland during the Second Half of the season.
- LAST SEASON: The Lakers won the season series in 2019-20, 2-1, and defeated the Trail Blazers in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs, 4-1.
- Damian Lillard averaged 36.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 9.0 assists and 1.00 steal in three games against the Lakers in 2019-20. Lillard has scored at least 20 points in 17 straight games against the Lakers.
- CJ McCollum averaged 17.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists in three games against L.A. last season. McCollum has made at least two three-pointers in nine of his last 10 games against the Lakers.
- Anthony Davis averaged 32.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.67 blocks in three games against the Trail Blazers last season.
- In three games against the Trail Blazers last season, LeBron James averaged 24.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 11.3 assists. James has recorded a double-double in four of his six games against Portland with the Lakers.
- POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: +3.5 (-110) – Lakers -3.5 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Monday, December 28
Where: Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA
Start time: 7:00 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.