The Los Angeles Lakers put up a good fight against the Cleveland Cavaliers but lost in a 119-108 shootout on the road. D’Angelo Russell was a late scratch for the Lakers, but another strong game from the team as a whole made for a very good Saturday afternoon matchup. The purple and gold were in this one until the very end, down by as little as three in the final four minutes, but couldn’t put away the defending champions.
This was all about the Cavaliers’ trio of LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving being far too much to overcome for the Lakers’ defense. Irving was spectacular, dribbling around the Lakers however he wanted on his way to 21 points and 12 assists. Love shouldered the scoring load, putting in a team-high 27 points. James had a relatively quiet night until the fourth quarter, where he put on the finishing touches. He ended the night with 26 points, including a dagger of a three that felt like the knockout punch.
Randle once again put in some serious work around the rim, scoring in the paint with his array of flicks and flips. Most of his damage came in the first half, finishing the night with 16 points on 8-of-15 shooting. The backcourt duo of Jordan Clarkson and Nick Young picked up the rest of the scoring slack, making it rain from outside in what was a frenetic up-and-down game.
Clarkson had one of his best games of the season, making four of his seven three-point attempts on his way to 20 points. Young was on NBA Jam levels of fire, making eight three-pointers for a game-high 32 points.
Brandon Ingram did a little bit of everything in his venture back into the starting lineup, nearly tallying a triple-double. He finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and would have been the youngest player to ever notch a triple-double. That record is currently held by LeBron James, though Ingram still has a few months to try his hand at it.
Overall there’s not much to complain about. On the second night of a back-to-back on the road, in the midst of a nasty trip away from Southern California, without D’Angelo Russell’s icy veins, the Lakers competed with the Cavaliers wire-to-wire. Hopefully this upward trend travels with them to face the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday.