LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers are one loss shy from their most in a single season. Ever.
They sit there after posting their 55th defeat of the season here Friday, a 107-77 blowout that went to the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center.
In the history of the franchise, the Lakers have lost only as many as 55 games in a season once before: last season.
They have seven games left in this forgettable campaign, and while each loss sets them back even further in the history books, they also help their chances on draft lottery night.
As for the playoff-bound Trail Blazers, they earned their first-ever four-game winning streak in Los Angeles and their first season sweep of the Lakers in 21 years.
There have been only two other seasons in which the Trail Blazers have swept the Lakers: 1977-78 (4-0) and 1993-94 (5-0).
Turning point: The Trail Blazers led 26-12 after the first quarter. Ball game.
Player of the game: On the same day he was named the Western Conference’s Rookie of the Month for March, becoming the first Lakers rookie to ever win that recognition (first presented in 1981-82), Jordan Clarkson put on quite a show.
The guard dropped 18 first-half points against some pretty lackluster defense from Damian Lillard and finished with 27 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two turnovers in 35 minutes. He hit 12 of 20 shots from the field, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range.
Another fine outing for Clarkson, who more and more is looking like quite a find.
And, according to the fine folks at ESPN Stats & Information, Clarkson has led the Lakers (or tied for the lead) in points and assists in nine games this season. That’s the most such games for any rookie in the league this season. In fact, it more than doubles the next-highest total by a rookie (four by Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton).
Top opposing player: Lillard came out hot, scoring the Trail Blazers' first 14 points as he went 5-of-5 from the field, hitting his first four 3-point attempts, but his services weren’t really needed from then on. Which is why he finished with just 20 points.
As such, the top opposing player was CJ McCollum, who scored a career-high 27 points off the bench, including 16 in the second half. He hit 10 of 16 shots.
Stat of the night: For as lopsided as this game was, with the Trail Blazers leading by as much as 32, there weren’t many statistical categories that were wildly askew. But early on, the Trail Blazers crushed the Lakers from beyond the arc, hitting eight of their first 13 attempts from 3-point range as they built a monstrous lead. All told, Portland hit 10 3-pointers, while the Lakers hit just 5.
Notes: A Lakers fan brought a personalized Lakers jersey with LaMarcus Aldridge’s name on it. Aldridge, who is a free agent this summer, seemed mildly amused when he saw it. He scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds. ... Lakers guard Dwight Buycks, whom the team signed to a 10-day contract, checked into the game with 6:30 in the fourth quarter. He scored eight points in six minutes.
And our final note comes straight from those same fine folks at ESPN Stats & Info: The Lakers went 4-12 in March, marking the second time they lost at least 12 games in a calendar month this season (3-12 in January). Prior to this season, the Lakers lost a dozen or more games in only three calendar months since moving to Los Angeles in 1960: December 1960 (4-12), February 1964 (5-13) and January 2014 (3-12).
Up next: The Lakers face the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. PT.