Originally written November 01, 2012 on Pro Sports Daily:
PORTLAND -- The Los Angeles Lakers may yet work themselves into position to be a bonafide 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 at the Rose Garden. It was the second loss in as many nights for the Lakers, who fell 99-91 at Dallas in their opener Tuesday. Wesley Matthews scored 22 points and rookie point guard Damian Lillard contributed 23 points and 10 assists in his career debut on opening night for the Blazers. Dwight Howard collected 33 points, 14 rebounds and five assists and Kobe Bryant bombed in 30 points for the Lakers, who had 24 turnovers. The Lakers went most of the second half without the services of Steve Nash. The veteran point guard left the game early in the third quarter with a left leg contusion and did not return. After making 3 of 14 free-throw attempt...
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