- Eric Martinez
Cavs Tops Lakers 116-102
The Los Angeles Lakers have been playing coordinated and impressive basketball. In their past three games, the Lakers have won three games including 2 road games against NBA Finals favorite Milwaukee Bucks. Even though the entire team drastically has improved, the success can account for one superstar, Anthony Davis. His numbers in the past 10 games have been astronomical averaging 31.3 points per game, shooting 45% from the three-point percentage. Tuesday night, AD started the game, played 8 minutes and scored 1 free throw.
The reason for his exit was flu-like symptoms. Giving a ton of credit to the Cavaliers, they understood without Davis in the middle protecting the paint, the goal was to attack early and often. Cavs scored 70 of their 116 points in the paint. They caused 16 turnovers and held the Lakers to shooting 16.7% from three-point range. A collective effort from a team that entered the game in sole possession of 3rd place in the Eastern Conference displayed a balance of scoring with 3 of the 5 starters scoring double figures. Darius Garland scored 21 points on 8 of 18 shooting, Jarrett Allen had an impressive 24 points and 11 rebounds, and the All-Star Donovan Mitchell had his way Tuesday night ending with 43 points, 5 assists, and 6 rebounds. Even more impressive for Mitchell is the current scoring streak he is on. In the past 10 games he is averaging 26.3 points per game, 89% from free throw and 48.7% from the field.
The return of LeBron James to Cleveland is always a hot ticket. It is worth noting LeBron played efficiently scoring 21 points off of 8 of 17 shots in addition to 17 rebounds. It was Donovan Mitchell that completely took over in the second half scoring 29 of his 43 points. “You always want to spoil the homecoming,” Mitchell smirked postgame comments. Cleveland now moves to 16-9 while Lakers drop to 10-13 for the season. Lakers’ coach Darvin Ham knows how crucial it was for AD to be absent from the game, but more importantly how well he has been contributing for the team. “It got progressively worse as the day went on. His temperature was 101 and some change. AD wanted to try to play, but he felt too weak. He’s drained and dehydrated. That’s a huge loss obviously, with the way he’s been playing lately.” Next up for Lakers is a visit to Toronto as part of the six game road trip. Cavaliers host Sacramento on Friday night.