L.A. Lakers 103, Portland 96
LAKERS Vs Trail BLAZERS 103, 96: Andrew Bynum collected 28 points and nine rebounds and Ramon Sessions stepped up in the fourth quarter as host Los Angeles kept pace in the Western Conference.
LaMarcus Aldridge recorded 29 points and nine rebounds for the Trail Blazers.
Sessions finished with 20 points and 11 assists and Kobe Bryant struggled to 18 points on 5-of-17 shooting for the Lakers, who stayed within 2 1/2 games of the San Antonio Spurs for the No. 2 spot in the West.
Los Angeles jumped out to a 30-19 lead after the first quarter but never managed to put the slumping Trail Blazers away. Portland fought back to tie it in the second and third quarters but never took the lead.
The Blazers were within a point four times in the fourth quarter, but the Lakers managed to beat them back on each occasion. Sessions scored eight points and handed out six assists in the fourth quarter and had the most important bucket when his 3-pointer extended the lead to 93-89 with 3:06 left.
Sessions, who was making his first start since joining the team at the trade deadline, would set up Matt Barnes for a layup on the next possession to make it a 95-89 gap.
Bryant sealed it from the free throw line in the final minute
GAME NOTEBOOK: Portland has dropped 10 of its last 14 games … Los Angeles dominated the glass, 53-29, led by 16 from Pau Gasol … The Lakers recorded 33 assists on 40 field goals.