(Sporting Alert) — The Los Angeles Lakers, after losing its opening game in the new NBA season against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night, will look to ease the pressure off head coach Mike Brown with a win over the Portland Trail Blazers at Rose Garden on Wednesday night.
The Lakers shot 38 for 77 from the field in a 99-91 defeat to the Mavericks Tuesday – a game in which summer trades Dwight Howard and Steve Nash both made their NBA debut with their new team.
Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant scored 23 and 22 points, respectively in the defeat, but finished with only 38.7 percent from free throw and 23.1 percent from three-point range.
The Lakers were hoping to finally pick up a win after going winless in preseason and Gasol says everyone is disappointed but is willing to work to get the new unit clicking.
“It’s not the way we wanted it to go,” Gasol said.
“We know it’s not going to happen for us right away, but we’ve just got to stick with it.”
Just like the Lakers, the Trail Blazers will be looking for a solid start from its new group – with LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and guard Wesley Matthews expected to lead the way.
First-round picks Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard will also add firepower to the team.
Also in action tonight is the Los Angeles Clippers which will take on the Memphis Grizzlies.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin lead the group of returners, while Lamar Odom, Grant Hill and Jamal Crawford are amongst the new additions.
Veteran point guard Chauncey Billups remains out until mid-November after surgery to repair the torn left Achilles he suffered last season, while another new signing Matt Barnes is suspended for the opener.
Memphis, in the meantime, start the new season without guard O.J. Mayo, who left to sign with Dallas.
However, Rudy Gay, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are all back.