LOS ANGELES - The Portland Trail Blazers are going home. Unfortunately for them, that might not mean much.
The Blazers were routed in the fourth quarter for the second straight game in a 106-88 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.
This time, it wasn't just that they got outplayed.
They came undone.
"There were a couple cheap shots out there," said Shaquille O'Neal, who had 32 points, 12 rebounds and five assists as the Lakers took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five playoff series.
The Blazers were charged with a flagrant foul, five technicals and two ejections - all in the final period.
"It's a physical game. I'm sure there was a lot of frustration," Blazers coach Mike Dunleavy said.
The Blazers promised to play a more physical game than in the series opener, when the Lakers scored 19 straight points in the second half on the way to a 106-93 decision.
"The technicals made it a bit uglier than it should have been," said Kobe Bryant, who had 25 points for the Lakers. "We have one goal in mind, and that's to move on to the next series."
They can do that as soon as Sunday in Portland.
"We can't worry about how physical they might try to be. That's the referees' job," Bryant said.