for this game

Lakers take down Blazers

Mar 24, 2012 - 5:54 AM Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Ramon Sessions is quickly making a name for himself in Los Angeles.

Sessions had 20 points and 11 assists to lead the Lakers to a 103-96 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center on Friday.

"I'm just being aggressive and playing my game," said Sessions, who has scored in double-digits in three of four games since the Lakers acquired him in a trade last week. "When we move the ball like we did tonight, we are tough to guard."

Andrew Bynum scored a team-high 28 points and pulled down nine rebounds, Kobe Bryant finished with 18 points and Pau Gasol recorded a double-double with 10 points and 16 boards for the Lakers, who have won seven of their last nine.

LaMarcus Aldridge poured in a game-high 29 points to go with nine rebounds, while Wesley Matthews netted 16 points and J.J. Hickson chipped in 14 points in his first action as a Trail Blazer.

Portland has dropped three of its last four overall and four straight at Staples Center.

With the Lakers holding a 65-64 lead in the third, Metta World Peace sank a three and Gasol added a jumper to press the margin to six, but the home team didn't score a field goal over the final 4:35 of the quarter, allowing Portland to trim the lead to one, 71-70, heading into the fourth.

The Lakers never led by more than four in the fourth until Sessions hit a three and then made a nice dish to Matt Barnes, who finished a layup to give the home team a 95-89 lead with 2:23 to play.

Portland still had life, trailing by six with 27.8 ticks remaining, but Nicolas Batum came up empty on a three and Bryant went 4-of-4 from the free throw line to close out the victory for the Lakers.

"They are a good basketball team," Portland interim head coach Kaleb Canales said about the Lakers. "Sessions made a big basket down the stretch. We just came up a little short."

In the first quarter, Portland scored four straight to trim the Lakers' lead to five before Bryant poured in seven straight in a 9-3 run that gave LA a 30-19 lead at the end of one.

After a Barnes layup pressed the lead to 12, Aldridge sank a jumper, igniting a 15-4 spurt from the visitors. Aldridge had 13 of the 15 points in the run to bring Portland within one, 46-45, with 2:31 left until halftime.

The Lakers would take a 53-48 edge into the locker room, despite allowing Aldridge to tally 21 points on 10-of-12 shooting in the first half.

Sessions quickly extended the lead to eight with a three to start the third, but Aldridge picked up where he left off, scoring the first four points of a 13-5 run that tied the game at 61.

Game Notes

Hickson was waived by Sacramento on March 20 and claimed by Portland the next day...Portland will host Golden State on Sunday, while the Lakers welcome the Grizzlies on Sunday...The Lakers finished the game with a season-high 33 assists...Los Angeles is now 20-3 at home this season.