The Los Angeles Lakers mounted a fourth quarter comeback after letting the Portland Trail Blazers slowly inch away over the second and third quarters, but ran out of time, falling to the Blazers, 93-86. The loss was the Lakers fourth in a row as Kobe Bryant and co. are skidding towards the NBA playoffs. Portland, on the other hand, is continuing to push ahead and now holds a 1.5 game lead over the New Orleans Hornets for the No. 6 seed in the West and site just one game out of the No. 5 spot.
The Portland starters were the only source of offense on Friday night, but it was enough to get it done for Nate McMillan's squad. LaMarcus Aldridge led the way with 24 points and 11 rebounds, with Gerald Wallace adding a double-double of his own with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Andre Miller also had a double-double, finishing with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum were the other two starters in double-figures with 18 and 13 points, respectively.
Kobe Bryant scored a team-high 24 points for the Lakers, but didn't get much help from his friends. Ron Artest had 14 points, with Pau Gasol adding nine points and 13 rebounds. Lamar Odom had a double-double off the bench with 13 points and 14 rebounds.
The Lakers fell to 55-24 on the year and may be in danger of losing the No. 2 seed in the West. The Dallas Mavericks are lurking just a game behind Los Angeles with three games to go.