Originally written on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/1/12
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Los Angeles Lakers may yet work themselves into position to be a bona fide contender for the NBA championship. They're a long way from that point now. Portland forward Nicolas Batum scored 26 points and got plenty of scoring help from his teammates as the Trail Blazers toppled the Lakers 116-106 Wednesday night on opening night at the Rose Garden. It was the second loss in as many nights for the Lakers, who fell 99-91 to the Dallas Mavericks in their opener Tuesday. All five Portland starters scored in double figures, including rookie point guard Damian Lillard, who contributed 23 points and 11 assists in his career debut. Shooting guard Wesley Matthews added 22 points for the young Blazers, who are not expected to be a playoff team this season. "A huge win for us," said Matthews, who made seven of 11 shots, including four of six from 3-point range. "There are a lot of doubters against us, a lot of people writing us off. This isn't going to silence them...
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