Mark J. Terrell / Associated Press
One night after failing to complete a late return against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Los Angeles Lakers had little trouble beating the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning 100-86 at Staples Center on Friday.
Extending his conditioning time after missing nine games earlier due to the Covid protocol, big man Mark Gasol made his second straight start after posting five points and two rebounds in 15 minutes on Thursday.
The win broke a four-game losing streak and gave Los Angeles (29-17) its first victory since the LeBron James suffered a right ankle injury on March 20 against the Atlanta Hawks.
It’s been a tough time for LA without James and Anthony Davis, but now that gasoline is in circulation, things seem to be getting easier. On Friday the case was with Cleveland (17-28) in the city only once a year and starting defender Colin Sexton went missing with a hamstring injury.
Montreal Herrell, C, Los Angeles Lakers: 24 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists
Dennis Schroeder, PG, Los Angeles Lakers: 17 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 4 steels
Larry Nance Jr., PF, Cleveland Cavaliers: 17 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists
Jarrett Allen, C, Cleveland Cavaliers: 13 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists
Lakers’ third quarter surge downs caves
For the first time since LeBron James’s injury a week ago, the Lakers were finally able to take a double-end lead against one of their opponents.
When you’re losing two of the best players in the league, and on the verge of a four-game losing streak, sometimes it’s the little things that help restore confidence that things will get better. Of course a matchup with one of the worst teams in the league would also help.
Despite struggling in the first half before Los Angeles didn’t score three pointers until seconds before seconds, the Lakers were unable to help but escaped the Caves with increasing down defense and scoring in the third quarter.
LA opened the second half 19-6 in seven minutes which gave the Cavs a shoot for their first 16 from the floor. Combined with a few late turnovers that led to the darkness of the transition by the Lakers, Nition was undoubtedly high enough to lock the much-needed victory after a rough stretch.
The losing streak of four games coincided with the longest match of the season in Los Angeles. Luckily for the defending champs, that record will last a little longer.
Gasoline continues to move
Before the Lakers even take to court, Chief Coach Frank Vogel & Co. So things started to look a little more optimistic with the words that Anthony Davis was cleared to enhance his court rehab. While there is no definite timeline for the All-Star’s return yet, it was a much-needed update for the club, seen in many negative health updates in recent days.
Dave McMahon @mcten
An update on what the Lakers have to say about Eddie: “Anthony Davis was re-examined by the team’s medical staff this evening. He is making steady progress in his recovery and has been cleared to proceed with the work of the court. Additional updates will be provided when appropriate. ”
But just because Davis is getting close to a return doesn’t mean fans should expect much from him immediately when he returns. Returning from an extended interval, Mark could see things continue to slow down for a while after the Lakers return to rotation with Davis, seeing how LA is using them.
For the second straight night, Vogel played Gasol 15 minutes after he was included in the starting line.
The offense rarely continued to return to the shape of the game like a big man.
Instead, Gasol went 2-for-3 off the floor with four points, two rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block, two turnovers and three fouls.
That would be an adjustment, hopefully to the L.A. It won’t take long for – but it shows that the Lakers are willing to be patient with key players due to injuries.
There are plenty of rides on the return of James and Davis. They won’t be asked to deliver on all of that right now.
what’s that Next
The Lakers host a sub .500 club on Sundays at 10pm and at other times Orlando Magic Visit the Staples Center while the Caves head north to face the Sacramento Kings at 10 p.m. That’s the third stop on a four-game road trip for Cleveland.