Wesley Johnson hits the Game-Winner to top Blazers
Wesley Johnson converted a game-winning lob on an out of bounds play to lift the Lakers to a 107-106 victory over the Blazers at the Moda Center on Monday.
With 7.1 seconds remaining and the Blazers leading 106-105, Kent Bazemore inbounded the ball from the left sideline. Rather than milking the clock down for the final shot, set up a scramble situation near the top of the key. Johnson popped out the backside of the scrum thanks to a back screen from Jordan Farmar, and he was waiting for the ball near the rim, which Bazemore delivered on time and on the money. LaMarcus Aldridge was unable to recover in time to deflect the pass or block the shot, and the Lakers took a one-point lead with 6.3 seconds remaining.
“Obviously, Bazemore made a great pass,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “[Johnson] did a great job of executing it, but we were trying to get two or three guys open and he picked the lob, which was spectacular. It was a great pass.”
The lob was the Lakers’ only field goal in the game’s final 6:06, but it was enough to hold off the Blazers, who had come back after facing a 15-point deficit.
Portland was unable to score on the other end after a jumper by Damian Lillard, who was defended by Jodie Meeks, fell short as time expired.
“[Meeks] did an unbelievable job on Lillard [on] the last play,” D’Antoni said. “He shut him down, stayed in front of him. It was great.”
Pau Gasol paced the Lakers with a game-high 22 points (on 10-for-20 shooting), nine rebounds and five assists. Meeks added 21 points (on 8-for-16 shooting) and three rebounds.
Aldridge finished with a team-high 21 points (on 9-for-19 shooting) and six rebounds. Robin Lopez added 19 points (on 9-for-13 shooting) and 16 rebounds in a losing effort.
The Lakers improved to 21-39 with the win. The Blazers dropped to 41-19 with the loss, which snapped a five-game winning streak.