Blazers leave Lakers in foul mood, 91-88 Bulls power past Raptors
LOS ANGELES — Martell Webster's flawless free-throw stroke was just about the only thing that worked the way it's supposed to in a significant win for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Webster hit three free throws with 3.1 seconds left to lift Portland past the Los Angeles Lakers, 91-88, yesterday.
Portland (49-31) tied San Antonio for seventh place in the Western Conference to improve its chances of avoiding the Lakers (56-24) in the first round of the playoffs next week.
Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher combined to miss three free throws in the final 6.9 seconds, and Pau Gasol missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the top-seeded Lakers.
Webster only got the chance to win it for Portland because of his weird shot selection. Instead of driving for a simpler shot in the final seconds of an even game, the reserve swingman pulled up for an awkward, one-legged 3-point attempt — and Fisher couldn't avoid fouling him in his surprise.
"It was definitely hostile out there," Webster said after sinking three straight free throws for the second time in the final 3:34. "I just went up there and shot them with confidence. ... That's the kind of atmosphere that will be there in the playoffs."
LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who lost leading scorer Brandon Roy at halftime because of sore right knee.