Going into Monday night’s game, the Los Angeles Lakers had the sixth-best offense in the NBA and the Cavaliers had the worst. However, when they went head-to-head on Monday, you really couldn’t tell which team was the better offensive squad.
With the exception of LeBron James, who scored 46 points on an efficient 19-26 shooting from the field and 7-11 shooting from behind the 3-point line, the Lakers had a hard time getting their offense off of the ground. Anthony Davis had an especially rough night, going 5-16 from the field; a stark contrast from his 14-21 outing against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.
But a little struggle was to be expected on Monday night because both the Lakers and Cavaliers have been strong defensively to start the season. What was a bit of a surprise was how good the Cavaliers looked offensively — at least in the first half, where they scored 58 points, which is 7.5 points higher than their season average.
After another strong quarter from the Cavaliers coming out of the break, the Lakers tightened things up on the defensive end and let James do his thing in the fourth quarter. James scored 21 of his 46 points in the fourth quarter, and it wasn’t because the Cavaliers weren’t trying to stop him — he was just on fire.
In addition to James’ dominance on offense, the Lakers also got a strong performance from Alex Caruso on the defensive end. Caruso saw the floor a little later than usual on Monday, but once he was on, he made it hard to take him off.
With a win on Monday, the Lakers remain unbeaten on the road. They’ll try to keep it that way when they face the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, but the 76ers are off to a hot start this season, holding the best record in the Eastern Conference. It won’t be an easy one, so it’s a good think L.A. came through here.