Dwight Howard's 33 points and 14 rebounds were not enough for the Los Angeles Lakers in a 116-106 loss to the inspired Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.
Nicolas Batum had 26 points and the Blazers led by as many as 19 in handing the Lakers their second straight loss to open the season. Damian Lillard, the sixth overall pick in the June draft, had 22 points and 11 assists in his NBA debut for Portland.
The Lakers' troubles were compounded by the loss of guard Steve Nash to a bruised left leg late in the first half.
Nash, acquired by the Lakers this summer, collided with Lillard and limped to the locker room. Although the team initially reported he was fine, Nash struggled when he returned for the second half and left the game for good a short time later.
Kobe Bryant had 30 points for the Lakers.
The loss, as well as the injury to Nash, came a day after Los Angeles dropped its season opener at home 99-91 to the Dallas Mavericks, spoiling the Lakers debuts of both...