Facing a young and talented Cleveland Cavaliers team, the Los Angeles Lakers were unable to put together a complete performance due to cold shooting in the second half.
Donovan Mitchell led the way with a game-high 33 points and Darius Garland finished with 24 points and seven assists as the Cavaliers cruised past the Los Angeles Lakers 114-100 on Sunday afternoon at Crypto.com Arena.
With the win, the Cavs (8-1) earned the eighth consecutive victory, as their only defeat of the season came against the Toronto Raptors (6-4) on opening night.
Jarrett Allen had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Cleveland while Caris LeVert added 12.
“When the greatest are on the floor, you just go out there and try to find a way to compete and get a win,” said Mitchell following the win. “We came out there and were just trying to do what we’ve been doing, and fortunately it was against Bron, but that wasn’t a talking point or anything.”
The Lakers fell to 2-7 on the year, their worst start since the 2015-16 season.
LeBron James recorded a team-high 27 points and seven rebounds for the Lakers, Anthony Davis added 19 points and 12 rebounds. Russell Westbrook excelled in his sixth man role yet again and had 19 points and 10 assists for Los Angeles.
Patrick Beverley was out due to a non-covid illness. Kendrick Nunn got the start while replacing Beverly and went scoreless in 18 minutes of play while drawing his first start of the season.
“Our record is what our record is,” said James.
The Lakers held a 36-30 lead in the first quarter and a six-point, 64-58 halftime advantage after dominating the Cavs 38-16 in the paint through two quarters.
However, the Cavs outscored the Lakers 29-16 in another poor third-quarter that has hurt Los Angeles many times already this season.
Davis attempted only two shots in the second half and the Cavs went on to outscore the Lakers 56-36 through the final 24 minutes of play.
“He’s got my blessing to scream out and call his own number,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said on Davis being more assertive.
The Cavs then stretched their lead over the Lakers to 109-92, with 4:50 remaining in the game after LeVert and Allen scored on back-to-back possessions.
“We just didn’t come out ready (in the second half),” Westbrook said. “We were playing catch-up.”
“Our spirit had seemed to have left the building,” Ham said.
The Lakers will next travel to take on the Utah Jazz (8-3) on Monday at 7:15 p.m.