LA still rules the Rose Garden

The Lakers might not be headed anywhere, but we still want to see them
July 15, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning,

Dwight Howard?

It's good that he's gone from the Los Angeles Lakers line-up.

Kobe Bryant?

He'll be back.

The Los Angeles Lakers?

They're a No. 7 seed in the Western Conference at best next season. But, they're still a hot ticket because of the rivalry built up with the Blazers, which is the sentiment of the cast of Sportsland, Oregon from the 17th Episode, recorded Monday night at Blitz Pearl in downtown Portland.

Marlon Thomas, Michael Chamberlain and host Cliff Pfenning all put the Lakers on their four-pack of teams they'd want to see next season, which made them the only team to receive four votes. Miami? The two-time defending league champs only got one vote. Other teams with two votes were the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets. Even Oklahoma City got just one vote.

Making the Lakers' tickets even more valuable is that the cast expects the Blazers to be competitive with LA for a playoff spot next season.

On the soccer pitch, the cast reflects on the Timbers' 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy and how important it was to the franchise.

Major League baseball, the British Open, Wimbledon and ... paying your taxes all highlight the episode.


Blazers move closer to starting line-up, Lakers

Portland's season-opener is only two weeks away - finally
Oct. 16, 2012

LaMarcus Aldridge is a lock.

Nicolas Batum is a lock.

Damian Lillard is a lock.

That leaves shooting guard and center as positions still waiting to be filled as the Portland Trail Blazers head toward their season-opening game at home against the star-studded Los Angeles Lakers on Halloween eve.

The Lakers added point guard Steve Nash and center Dwight Howard to go with Kobe Bryant, while losing center Andrew Bynum during the offseason, and appear as a top candidate to unseat Miami as league champion.

Portland added a number of rookies and features one of the youngest rosters in the NBA.

The team did, though, find a head coach in Terry Stotts.


Gritty Blazers narrowly miss upset in Los Angeles

Aldridge goes for 29 in 103-96 loss to the Lakers
March 23, 2012

With the public expecting regular blowouts, the Portland Trail Blazers continued to show the side of their game that's been lost the past two months, even though they didn't win Friday night.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 29 points and grabbed nine rebounds and the Blazers' bench outscored the Lakers 34-14 during a 103-96 loss at the Staples Center.

Portland trailed just 87-86 with 5:00 left before the Lakers went on a 9-3 run to create a scoring cushion.

J.J. Hickson, acquired this week, scored 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and had a pair of assists off the bench.

Ramon Sessions, recently acquired by the Lakers, went for 20 points and 11 rebounds in a starting role. Andrew Bynum led the Lakers with 28 points, while Pau Gasol helped the team to a 53-29 rebounding edge with 16.

The Blazers, 22-26, begin a three-game homestand Sunday at 6 p.m. against Golden State.


Phoenix brings Blazers back to Earth

After two big wins, Portland stumbles in the desert
Jan. 6, 2012

After wins over Western Conference heavyweights Oklahoma City and Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, the Portland Trail Blazers ran into a team needing a big win of its own Friday night.

And Phoenix took advantage of its opportunity, beating the Blazers handily in Phoenix, 102-77.

Jared Dudley led six Phoenix players in double figures with 18 points and Steve Nash added 17 points and nine assists as the Suns improved to 3-4 overall.

Portland, which beat the Thunder on Tuesday and Lakers Thursday night, got 14 points from LaMarcus Aldridge, but only 21 points from the rest of the starting 5.

The Blazers fell to 5-2, 1-2 on the road. The Blazers play their next three games at home where they're 4-0, beginning with Cleveland Sunday night at the Rose Garden.



Portland's hot early-season play got national attention Thursday as the Trail Blazers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-96 at the Rose Garden on TNT.

Gerald Wallace scored a game-high 31 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Blazers improved to 5-1 on the season and remained the lone team in the Western Conference with one loss.

Jamal Crawford added 17 points and three assists.

The Blazers were outrebounded 47-39, outshot from the free-throw line by two points and even allowed the Lakers to shoot 46.8 percent from the field, but won by shooting 46.1 percent from the field, making five three-pointers to none and finishing with a 16-5 edge in points scored off turnovers.

Portland committed just four turnovers in the game.

Kobe Bryand led the Lakers with 30 points, and Andrew Bynum added 21 points and 12 rebounds. Los Angeles dropped to 4-4 on the season.

The Blazers play at Phoenix tonight, then play three home games in a row.



Portland moved into the Northwest Division lead with a 103-93 win over Oklahoma City Tuesday night on the Thunder's home court.

The Blazers broke free of a 66-all tie with a 6-0 run and led from there, improving to 4-1 on the season.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and eight rebounds to lead Portland.

The Blazers managed a 46-40 rebounding edge, shot 15 more free throws and outscored Oklahoma City 52-40 in the second half.

Oklahoma City got 23 points from James Harden and a combined 41 points from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but lost fo the second consecutive night. The Thunder lost at Dallas Monday.

Portland has a night off before facing the Los Angeles Lakers (3-3) at the Rose Garden Thursday night. Tuesday's win put the Blazers atop the Western Conference playoff standings, although the other 14 teams are all within 2.5 games.


Lake Oswego runs past Sheldon to first title

Steven Long's 4 touchdowns carries LO to a 47-14 win in Class 6A final
By Cliff Pfenning,

The long awaited state championship Lake Oswego athletes, coaches, parents, alumni and residents have sought in football finally arrived Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field.

Behind a dominating offensive line, slick-footed Steven Long ran for 322 yards and four touchdowns and the Lakers held Sheldon scoreless in the second half on the way to a 47-14 win in the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires Class 6A state championship game before a raucous crowd of more than 6,000 fans.

Lake Oswego broke a 14-all tie with a 35-yard field goal with 12 seconds left in the first half and overwhelmed the Irish in the second half, 30-0, for the school's first title in its 61-year history.

No other school across the state had won as many playoff games - 40 - without winning a title. Saturday, the Lakers passed that statistic off to Canby and its 36 wins.

"I'm so proud of these kids and what we've been able to do this year," said coach Steve Coury, who's guided the program for 20 years. "I'm so happy that we're finally able to bring a title home to Lake Oswego and our great fans."

"This is an amazing feeling because of all the people who support us and we get to share this with them," Long said. "There's been so many great people who've been part of this program and now we all finally have a championship."

The Lakers, who finished 14-0, ground out 349 yards on the ground on 63 carries - 42 by Long - and amassed 490 total yards.

Sheldon, which finished 13-1, got a pair of scoring runs from Conor Strahm, but couldn't match the Lakers' energy on offense or defense. The Irish suffered only their second defeat in three seasons, both to Lake Oswego.

Saturday's game was the eighth time the teams have met in the playoffs in the past 10 seasons. Lake Oswego had won four of the previous seven but hadn't won a title, while Sheldon won the state championship three times.

The teams traded scores in the first half and were tied at 14 after Strahm scored on a 1-yard plunge with 2:26 left in the second quarter. A short kick-off gave the Lakers the ball at their 37 and they marched to the Sheldon 10 in just four plays, aided by a pair of personal foul penalties at the end of the first play, a 9-yard run by Long in which he was tackle by his face mask and then hit out of bounds. Sheldon's defense held, but the 35-yard field goal by Harrison Greenberg gave the team the lead and they received the opening kick of the second half.

Long scored on the third play of the second half with a dazzling 51-yard run and the Lakers followed that up with an interception by Jordan Horak and a 48-yard scoring drive capped by a 2-yard run from quarterback Alex Matthews to take a 31-14 lead.

"At haltime we knew were going to get the ball and that first possession was huge for us," Matthews said. "When we scored, we knew we just had to keep playing like we were and finish and we'd win."


RSS feed