Portland Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard continuously clashed with Los Angeles Lakers guard Patrick Beverley on Sunday as the pair exchanged words in multiple heated altercations.
Both sides played out an entertaining affair with the Lakers erasing a 25-point deficit and scoring 75 points in the second quarter, with LeBron James exploding for 37 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists.
Thomas Bryant added a season-high 31 points and 14 rebounds, whilst Dennis Schroder gave Darvin Ham an efficient 36 minutes: 24 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 10/10 FTM, 6/13 FG, 2/5 3PT.
However, the true highlight of the occasion was Lillard and Beverley’s constant back-and-forth as the Laker picked up a technical foul with some old fashioned trash-talking at the free throw line.
“I’ll beat your ass.”
Damian Lillard to Patrick Beverley 👀pic.twitter.com/UsqO8HPx6b
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) January 23, 2023
The first fierce exchange came in the second quarter with the Blazers up two before Lillard led his side to a 31-8 run to close the quarter, scoring 45 overall in the second compared to LA’s 13.
The Lakers were down 23 points at half time but a heroic effort in the following 24 minutes sealed a gutsy, hard-fought victory on the road to secure consecutive wins after Friday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Beverley taunted Lillard at the end of the game, mocking the six-time All-Star’s trademark ‘Dame Time’ celebration – suggesting the watch had broken.
Pat Bev clowning Dame Time 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/dtGZlA3wNg
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) January 23, 2023
Lakers face difficult challenge to reach postseason once again
The Lakers face an uphill battle to make the playoffs for a second season in a row, sitting in 12th position in the Western Conference and just half a game from the 13 seed.
NBA betting sites give LeBron James and the Lakers a probability of 37% to make the playoffs in 2023, priced at +170 as the 17-time champions are headed to miss out again.
Russell Westbrook’s future with the franchise remains uncertain and the former MVP is likely to come up in trade talks ahead of the February 9 deadline.
Anthony Davis is expected to return this week after missing 14 games with injury, in which the Lakers are 9-5 including victories over the Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks.