NBA Champions the Los Angeles Lakers are now 2-2 on the year after a 115-107 defeat to Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night (LA Lakers 11/4 – NBA Championship Outright).
The Lakers followed their season-opening defeat to city rivals the Clippers with back-to-back wins but were undone by a Damian Lillard-inspired Portland on Monday.
The five-time All-Star Blazers guard led the scoring with 31 points, with Gary Trent Jr managing 28 and CJ McCollum 20 as Portland made it two wins from three matches so far.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis were injury doubts ahead of the game but both started. James weighed in with 29 points, nine rebounds and six assists in 35:55 minutes but it wasn’t enough to avoid defeat.
Brooklyn Nets became the first team in 12 years to win their first two games by 20 or more points but they now have a 2-2 record after a 116-111 overtime loss to Memphis Grizzlies, although the Nets were without key pair Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets 6/1 – NBA Championship Outright).
Atlanta Hawks are the early season surprise package in the Eastern Conference and they made it three wins from three games as they beat Detroit Pistons 128-120.
Last season’s runners-up Miami Heat are in action on Tuesday as they entertain Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat beat Milwaukee 4-1 in the Conference Semifinals last term and this will be the first meeting between the two teams since.
Philadelphia 76ers are 2-1 under new coach Doc Rivers and they come up against a struggling Toronto Raptors outfit who are yet to win in two attempts this season, while Boston Celtics will bid to end a two-game losing streak at Indiana Pacers.