The Portland Trail Blazers will face off against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference showdown at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, this Tuesday night. They will meet each other for the fourth time this season, and the Lakers lead the series 2-1 including a 126-117 victory in the previous duel in LA. This will be the season finale for the hosts, while the Trail Blazers are battling for the No. 3 seed in the West. NBA: Tuesday, April 9, 2019, Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, 10:30 PM ET
The Blazers still can surpass the Rockets
The Portland Trail Blazers (51-29; 44-35-1 ATS) are coming off a 115-108 victory to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, recording their third win over the last four outings and seventh straight on the home court. Damian Lillard scored 30 points to lift his team over the short-handed Nuggets, while C.J. McCollum had just nine points on 3-of-13 shooting from the field in his return to the floor after a knee injury on March 16. The Blazers are still in the race for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, but they need the Rockets to lose at Oklahoma City tonight, as they are 1.5 games behind Houston.
Damian Lillard is leading the Blazers this season, averaging 25.9 points and 6.9 assists per game while making 44.5% of his field goals. C.J. McCollum is tallying 21.1 points per contest on 46.0% shooting from the field, while Enes Kanter is posting 12.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. The Trail Blazers are scoring 114.5 points per 100 possessions (3rd in the league) on 46.6% shooting from the field (12th) and 35.7% from beyond the arc (9th), allowing 110.3 points in a return (16th in the league) on 45.6% shooting from the field (12th).
The Lakers are looking to wrap up the season with a home win
The Los Angeles Lakers (37-44; 34-46-1 ATS) are coming off a surprising 113-109 victory to the Utah Jazz this past Sunday, as they were listed as massive 12-point underdogs. The Lakers shot 51.7% from the field and scored 64 points in the paint while posting 16 offensive rebounds. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a big night with 32 points, six boards, and six assists, while Alex Caruso put on another strong performance to finish the game with 18 points and 11 assists. The Lakers will be looking for their third consecutive win tonight to close down a disappointing season.
The Lakers are finishing the season without LeBron James, Lonzo Ball, and Brandon Ingram. Tyson Chandler and Rajon Rondo will sit out tonight’s game, too, while Kyle Kuzma is questionable to play. JaVale McGee will lead the Lakers, and he’s averaging 17.7 points and 12.5 rebounds per game over his last ten outings. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is tallying 19.0 points per contest in his last ten apps. The Lakers are scoring 107.9 points per 100 possessions (24th in the league) on 47.1% shooting from the field (9th) and 33.3% from downtown (29th), surrendering 109.5 points in a return (13th in the league) on 45.2% shooting from the field (9th).
Portland Trail Blazers:
- 9-2 SU and 8-2-1 ATS in the last 11 outings as favorites
- 14-2 SU and 12-4 ATS in the last 16 meetings with the Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers:
- 1-9 SU and ATS in the last ten home encounters with Portland
- 2-8 SU and 3-7 ATS in the last ten meetings with the Northwest Division
- 8-15 ATS in the last 23 games overall
The Winner Prediction
The Trail Blazers hope the Thunder will beat the Rockets to keep them in the contention for the No. 3 seed, but they certainly have to win in the final two games of the season, starting with tonight’s clash at Staples Center. The Blazers have dominated the Lakers over the last few years, and I expect them to continue with a strong performance. The hosts are playing with their second unit, so I’m backing the Blazers to cover.
The Pick: Portland Trail Blazers -9.0 (-110)