LeBron James was hot early and late as his 46 points points helped the Los Angeles Lakers managed to defeat the upset-minded Cleveland Cavaliers for a 115-108 win. The Lakers remained undefeated not only on their current road trip, but are 10-0 away from Staples Center this season.
Andre Drummond got things going for the Cavaliers by forcing his way into the paint for easy shots at the rim and offensive rebounds, while Marc Gasol quickly found himself on bench after picking up three fouls in three minutes.
James heated up from the field, scoring a quick nine points to give the Lakers a 15-12 lead.
Dennis Schroder had a nice sequence where he found Anthony Davis on a duck-in, nailed an elbow jumper and got all the way to the rim for a layup. James scored drained several jumpers to close the first quarter and Los Angeles walked into the second up 34-23.
Montrezl Harrell carried the scoring as he got free underneath the basket and earned a couple of and-1 opportunities, but struggled containing Drummond on the other end. Markieff Morris was able to draw a three-shot foul, and followed it up with a dunk in transition.
The Cavaliers responded with a run as their 3-point shooting picked up, narrowing the deficit to only five. Los Angeles was able to settle back into the game, but a Cedi Osman 3 at the buzzer only had them leading 65-58 at halftime.
Osman ignited a 12-2 Cavaliers run with a pair of 3s and they eventually took the lead after a Colin Sexton lob to Drummond. Meanwhile, Los Angeles was unable to break the Cleveland zone but did earn trips to the free throw line to mitigate that.
The Lakers finally ended their field goal drought after Schroeder got to the cup, but Colin Sexton was able to answer with drives of his own. Defensively, L.A. was unable to stop Cleveland anytime they got to the rim, and they went into the fourth trailing 89-87.
James was able to get the team back on track as he scored on three consecutive drives to the basket, giving them the lead. Both teams experienced a sloppy stretch of turnovers, but an Alex Caruso 3 gave the Lakers some breathing room.
James added to that with a 5-0 spurt behind a 3-pointer from the Cavs’ logo and an attack to the rim. Following a pair of free throws, James connected on a stepback 3 as the shot clock was winding down.
The Cavs wouldn’t go away but James’ hot shooting put the game away for the Lakers.
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