PORTLAND, Ore. —
The Lakers couldn’t miss. Then they could. And then they couldn’t again.
Best to keep the inexplicable simple.
Despite being outscored by 32 points in the second quarter, the Lakers came back from 25 down to beat Portland 121-112 on Sunday night.
When will LeBron James become NBA’s all-time leading scorer?
A look at LeBron James’ pursuit of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time scoring record.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar points: 38,387
LeBron James points: 38,164
Points from record: 223 points
Projected games until record: 9
Projected record date: Feb. 9 vs. Bucks
LeBron James had 37 points, Dennis Schroder scored all but two of his 24 points in the second half, and Thomas Bryant had 31 points and 14 rebounds, punctuating the game with a pair of monster slam dunks in crunch time.
To orchestrate one of the wildest comebacks in NBA history, the Lakers first had to be historically bad.
And were they ever.
The Lakers made their first six shots of the game and led by 14 points early before the Trail Blazers pushed back into the game.
Portland won the second quarter 45-13, tied for the second-biggest scoring margin in one quarter since the addition of the three-point line.
The numbers were staggering.
Anfernee Simons made six shots on eight tries in the quarter. The entire Lakers roster made just six shots in the second quarter. The six baskets were one fewer than their seven turnovers. Schroder was a minus-27. Reserve big man Drew Eubanks played just less than nine minutes.
It was the 10th time in NBA history that a team was outscored by 32 or more and the 92nd time a team was outscored by 27. Before Sunday, teams were 91-1 when they so badly beat a team in a quarter.
But James scored 16 points in the third and Schroder had 14, and it became Portland’s time to make just six shots. The Lakers played with more energy and more physicality, chipping away at Portland’s lead at the free-throw line, where they took 17 attempts in the third quarter alone.
The Lakers moved back in front in the fourth, Bryant swishing a three-pointer to put them up 98-97 before they sprinted through the finish.
It’s the Lakers’ second straight win.