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By Andy Popp
GAME 80: Blazers (46-33) vs Los Angeles Lakers (55-23)
Friday, April 8, 7 PM, CSN
Sunday, November 7th Blazers 96 Lakers 121
Wednesday, February 23rd Blazers 101 Lakers 106
Sunday, March 20th Blazers 80 Lakers 84
Related: Trail Blazers Games, Schedule, and WIN Tickets
Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers are in town tonight looking to finish up a season sweep against the Blazers.
The Lakers have been mathematically eliminated from the #1 seed at this point (it belongs to the Spurs), the only thing they’re really playing for at this point is to stop the bleeding of their current 3 game losing streak.
The on Lakers on paper:
Starting five: Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher
Off the bench: Lamar Odom, Matt Barnes, Steve Blake, Shannon Brown
Ron Artest is in a slump. Averaging only 5.8 points and shooting 27.6% from the field over the last 4 games.
This is a tough match up for the Blazers. In order for the Blazers to win they will need 10+ points from Rudy Fernandez and Wesley Matthews (preferably damage from behind the arc to open up the paint for LaMarcus Aldridge). The Blazers will also have to crash the boards, not an easy task against the size and length of the Laker front court.
LET’S GET RICH
To date: 34-26-2
Blazers +2.5. I’ll take the Blazers to defend home court tonight.
If the season ended today the Blazers would face the Dallas Mavericks in the first round.
NUMBER OF BACK TO BACKS THIS SEASON (IN SETS)
@ Golden State
The Blazers are still fighting with New Orleans and Memphis for the 6th spot and the right to play Dallas in the first round of the playoffs. They need to forget about the tired legs and get up for this game.
Pipeline's Portland Trail Blazers coverage by:
Andy Popp is a Portland native that loves sports and beer. You can contact Andy Popp at either firstname.lastname@example.org or BlazersPipeline on Twitter. When he's not at PDX Pipeline, you can find him at lowposts.com.