Both teams came in pretty banged up, but after overhauling their roster at the deadline, the Cavs had more than a few able bodies ready to go like George Hill and, of course, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr., who returned to STAPLES Center for the first time since the trade deadline.
Nance has been solid for the Cavs in Kevin Love’s absence and had another solid night Sunday in Los Angeles, finishing with 16 points and 8 rebounds. But he alone wasn’t going to be enough against the Lakers’ plethora of skilled big men.
Julius Randle feasted Cleveland’s depleted frontcourt, putting up a monster stat line of 36 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 blocks. Brook Lopez didn’t trail too far behind with 22 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, and 2 blocks.
Isaiah Thomas also showed out in front of his former team, with 20 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds.
With a win on Sunday, the Lakers will finish the season with at least 30 wins for the first time since the 2012-13 season, also known as the Dwight Howard year.
They’ll have Monday off before hosting the Denver Nuggets, who they have bad blood with. They’re hoping Brandon Ingram will join them then.