The Los Angeles Lakers ended their short Grammy trip in Cleveland against the red-hot Cavaliers Sunday afternoon and came out with yet another road loss, 120-105.
The Cavaliers’ big three combined for 82 points to oust the Lakers for their ninth consecutive win at the Quicken Loans Arena.
The first quarter was surprisingly close and competitive, as there were 12 lead changes. Kyrie Irving carried Cleveland with 13 first quarter points, while Wesley Johnson answered the call for the Lakers with 12 points of his own. The Lakers trailed by only four to end the first stanza.
From there on, Cleveland found a nice offensive groove, led by Kevin Love. The 26-year-old power forward has been in a major slump all season long, but he had his best game of the year in this one. Late in the second quarter, the Cavaliers went on a huge 20-2 run, capped by four straight three-pointers by Kevin Love, who scored 17 points in the quarter and ended the half with a game-high 22 points.
By halftime, the Lakers trailed, 64-49, as they were unable to withstand the barrage of threes by Love.
In the third quarter, the Cavaliers continued their dominance, this time led by LeBron James who put in 14 points in the period to extend the lead to 26, which was the largest of the game. The Cavaliers cruised to the finish line the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, the frustrations continued for the lackluster Lakers. They shot 41.0 percent from the field, while allowing a whopping 54.9 percent on the defensive end. They were also a minus-33 from three-point distance, allowing the Cavaliers to hit 18 threes on 54.5 percent shooting. Los Angeles’ three-point defense has been atrocious of late.
The Lakers only committed seven turnovers in this game, which is the only positive thing they can take from this horrible loss. The Cavaliers had 14 giveaways on the other end, resulting into 18 points for L.A.
Nick Young continued his poor shooting in this game, going 3 of 10 from the field on eight points. After one solid game in February, he has reverted back to his old ways during the entire month of January. Despite Young’s struggles, the bench was still marvelous, outscoring the Cavs bench, 59-28.
Ed Davis led the bench mob with 16 points and nine rebounds in 24 minutes of play. However, Jordan Clarkson led the team with 20 points, six rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Wesley Johnson got off to a hot start but cooled down and finished the contest with 15 points, three rebounds, and two steals.
Wayne Ellington and Jeremy Lin were the only other two Lakers in double-figures. Ellington put in 12 points and five rebounds on 5 of 14 shooting, while Lin tallied 11 points and three assists on 5 of 9 shooting.
The Cavaliers were led by Kevin Love’s season-high 32 points, including 10 rebounds, three assists, 11 of 18 shooting from the field, and an incredible 7 of 8 shooting from long range. LeBron James flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. Kyrie Irving also notched a double-double with his 28 points, and 10 assists to go along with four rebounds.
Timofey Mozgov and Iman Shumpert continue to be defensive aces for this team. Mozgov had four blocks to go with eight points and 10 rebounds. Shumpert came away with four steals to go with his 12 points, two blocks, two rebounds, and two assists. To add to the efficiency for the Cavaliers, they had 31 assists on 45 made baskets.
With the win, Cleveland improves to 32-21 but still sit fifth in the East. They have now won the last 13 out of 14 games. The Lakers, on the other hand, have lost the last 13 of 14 games and have tied a franchise-record 10-game road losing streak, as they slip to 13-38 on the season.
The Lakers will head back home to host the Denver Nuggets in their next game on Tuesday, February 10th. The Cavaliers will stay home to play LeBron James’ former team, the Miami Heat, on Wednesday.