The Lakers' promising summer league came to a crashing halt Thursday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Los Angeles squandered an early double-digit advantage to bow out of the summer league playoffs in dispiriting fashion, 88-80.
The Lakers had a horrific second half, scoring only 28 points while Cleveland poured on 52. The Cavaliers made a living in the lane and at the free throw line, as Los Angeles proved unable to keep Cleveland out of the paint and off the glass. None of the Cavaliers' second-half points came on 3-pointers, but they did convert 25-of-33 foul of shots for the game.
Jordan McRae led the charge for Cleveland, scoring 36 points on 12-of-22 shooting from the field and 11-of-13 free throws. The Laker perimeter defenders were helpless to keep McRae away from the basket, and there was little to no interior defense waiting for the Cavalier when he arrived at the hoop. Kay Felder, Cleveland's 2016 second-round pick, added 20 points of his own, outplaying D'Angelo Russell in the pivotal second half.
In addition to suffering the team's first loss of the summer, Larry Nance, Jr. exited the game with an apparent wrist injury on a dunk attempt in the final minute.
It was an unfortunate cap to the night after a strong first half by the Lakers. The team's pair of point guards, Russell and Xavier Munford, combined for 25 points in the first 20 minutes as the team build a 16-point lead heading into the break. However, all of that positive play disappeared quickly in the second half against a squad of second-round picks and undrafted free agents fighting for roster spots. Los Angeles couldn't hit shots while McRae and Felder couldn't miss.
The Lakers will finish summer league play tomorrow in a consolation bracket game against the Utah Jazz, led by Trey Lyles, who has averaged 29.0 points per game in Las Vegas.