After losing six games in a row and 14 of their previous 15, the Lakers earned a win against the ‘Wolves on Friday night by riding Jordan Clarkson’s hot hand and coming back in the 2nd half to force OT then pull away in the extra frame. While that win may impact the Lakers lottery odds by allowing the sinking Suns to get to within a half game of the 2nd worst record, I am still of the mind that wins like that one — where besides Corey Brewer’s 3rd quarter spurt, it was young guys who carried the way — can have some positive meaning within a season full of so many losses.
That said, my sense is that tonight’s game against the Blazers isn’t likely to end with a similar result to Friday’s game. The Blazers have given the Lakers problems all season, their backcourt of Lillard and McCollum proving too dynamic and being able to turn games in Portland’s favor whenever games were somewhat competitive. Add to this that the Blazers are currently battling for a playoff spot, sitting in the 9th spot a game back of the Nuggets, and games like this are truly must wins for them.