Latest posts by Colton Jones (see all)
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Five quick takes after the Cleveland Cavaliers were embarrassed by the Los Angeles Lakers, 127-113, on Sunday night at Staples Center…
1. Trailing from the get-go (where have we heard that before?), the Cavaliers were fighting an uphill fight all night. However, they finally caught the Lakers at 72 at the 7:10 mark of the third quarter on an alley-oop from LeBron James to Larry Nance, then again at 76. However, Los Angeles closed the quarter on a 22-6 run to build a 98-82 lead through three quarters and the deed was essentially done.
2. In a matchup of players facing their former teams, Isaiah Thomas of the Lakers stole the show. The former Cavalier scored 20 points and added five rebounds and nine assists in 31 minutes, shooting 7-of-16 from the field. Consider — Thomas’ 20 points were four more than those posted by George Hill, J.R. Smith and Jordan Clarkson… combined. Thomas finished with a plus-18 rating for the game.
3. James scored 24 points and added 10 boards and seven dimes, including an gorgeous no-look pass to Ante Zizic for a second-quarter dunk, in 31 minutes, recording his 39th double-double of the season. James shot 9-of-20 from the floor, including just 2-of-8 from the 3-point line. Nance Jr. had 16 points and eight boards in his return to LA, while Zizic posted a career-high with 15 points (on 7-of-9 shooting) and seven rebounds in 20 solid minutes and Jose Calderon had 14 points.
4. Meanwhile, the Lakers (29-36) had four guys score 20 or more, led by a career-high 36 points (and 14 rebounds) by Julius Randle, while Brook Lopez (22), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (20) and Thomas joined him. The Lakers scored 62 points in the paint, outrebounded the Cavaliers, 51-37, and had 14 offensive boards and 18 second-chance points. Missing All-Star Kevin Love (broken left hand) and Tristan Thompson (right ankle) inside, along with Rodney Hood (back) and rookie Cedi Osman (left hip), Cleveland was simply no match for LA.
5. The Cavaliers (38-28) woke up today standing fourth in the Eastern Conference, behind Toronto (49-17), Boston (46-21) and Indiana (39-28). Cleveland is but 2.5 games out of seventh place and 3.5 out of eighth. At this point, simply having homecourt advantage in the first-round of the playoffs would perhaps be a realistic goal of which to shoot. On their longest road trip of the season, the Cavaliers are 1-2, with games at Phoenix (Tuesday), red-hot Portland (Thursday) and Chicago (Saturday) remaining to be played. Cleveland is now 16-17 on the road this season.