The Los Angeles Lakers are not the same club without Dennis Schroder in the lineup.
That was evident when the Lakers lost all four games that Schroder missed due to NBA health and safety protocols before they ended the streak on Friday in a 102-93 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
“Just having him back in our lineup and having him back in our locker room means a lot to our team,” said LeBron James, who had 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists against the Blazers.
Schroder is expected to be back in the mix when the Lakers host the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.
Against the Blazers, Schroder made his presence felt on both ends of the court. He scored 22 points and helped stop Portland’s Damian Lillard, who had 11 points in the second half after scoring 24 in the first.
Schroder and James also helped the Lakers cap the Blazers to 38.6 percent shooting. James was particularly effective with four steals and three blocks.
“I’m just trying to do whatever it takes to help us get out of this losing streak,” James said. “But that has always been my game, to be able to play on both sides of the court and to be responsible and there for my teammates.
“Tonight was an instance where I was able to get some steals and some blocks, took a couple of charges and just tried to be the voice and also act on the defensive end.”
A streak in the third quarter boosted the Lakers, allowing them to eliminate a three-point deficit at halftime and turn it into an 85-76 lead into the fourth quarter.
Stephen Curry had 29 points and nine assists and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 27 points on 11-of-15 shooting in the Warriors’ 130-121 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday. Draymond Green had a solid start with 19 assists and 12 rebounds, the most of his career, to accompany 11 points as Golden State posted its third straight victory.
Green credited his teammates for helping him hit the assists mark.
“It means my teammates are playing well and it means we are playing better,” Green said. “I think at the beginning of the year, there were things that I would see that other guys weren’t looking at. But with the reruns, over time together, the guys are starting to see that.”
Green focused on redeeming himself after committing two late-game technical fouls that cost Golden State in a 102-100 loss to the Hornets on February 20.
“Not necessarily (I would call it) a revenge game,” he said of Friday’s contest. “A rematch game would be a bit of a stretch, I would say. It was about me going out and fixing it. Trying to do everything I can to help this team get a win. I can’t forget what happened last time.” week.”
The Warriors rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Lakers 115-113 on January 18 in Los Angeles. Curry had 26 points and seven assists and Oubre scored 23.
Schroder led the Lakers with 25 points in defeat. James, who finished with 19 points, missed a game-winning triple on the final horn.
–Field level media