Howard stars, Lakers lose again, beaten 116-106 by Blazers

Final Score: Portland Trail Blazers 116, LA Lakers 106.

PORTLAND, Ore. (Sporting Alert) — The Los Angeles Lakers missed the mark again in another defeat in the new NBA season, this time beaten 116-106 by the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

Video Highlights: Watch Lakers Lose To Trail Blazers

Nicolas Batum scored 26 points and pulled down six assists for the Trail Blazers, a team many had backed the Lakers to beat and bounced back from the opening night defeat to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.

”People probably didn’t expect us to come out and beat that type of team, but we’ve been competing very hard in practice, and we did that same thing tonight,” said Damian Lillard, who scored 23 points and dished 11 assists for Portland, said.

”We were flying around, lots of energy. I think our activity kind of wore on them.”

Wesley Matthews had 22 points, Lamarcus Aldridge added 19 and J.J. Hickson, 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Trail Blazers.

Despite the victory, Portland isn’t getting too carried away.

”This was just one game, just one game,” Batum said.

”It was a really good win, but we’ve got to focus on the next game on the road.”

Dwight Howard scored 33 points and had 14 rebounds and five assists to lead the Lakers in the defeat.

Kobe Bryant had 30 points and Pau Gasol finished 16 points and nine boards.

The Lakers are 0-2 on the new season, not the start the team wanted, especially after going 0-8 in preseason.

”We’ve got to learn how to play together,” said Howard. ”You’ve got to be good before you can be great.

”We didn’t expect to just come together and be awesome. It’s always a process. We’ve got to stick with it so that at the end of the year we can have a trophy.”

The Lakers played most of the game without starting point guard Nash picked up an injury and struggled to stay on his feet.

He hopes to be ready for Friday night’s game with Los Angeles Clippers and want the fans to be patient with the team.

”We’re not sharp,” Nash said. ”I think the guys are trying, we just didn’t live up to what we’re trying to do.”

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