Kyrie Irving returns, Cavs beat Lakers

There had to be a low point. The Los Angeles Lakers can only hope they’ve reached it.

This chaotic season has gotten worse.

Kyrie Irving scored 28 points in his return after missing 11 games with a broken finger, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 100-94 win over Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, who look nothing like a team projected to win an NBA title - or anything else.

”This is one of the most challenging stretches of my 17 years, and the most baffling, too,” a puzzled Bryant said after the Lakers lost for the eighth time in 11 games. ”We have the talent and personnel to do it, but we’re not, and it’s baffling. It’s extremely frustrating.

”It doesn’t make any sense. We’re still finding ways to lose games.”

Irving added 11 assists in 39 minutes and showed off his dizzying array of moves as the Cavs, who came in with just four wins, ended a five-game losing streak.

Bryant scored 42 points and Dwight Howard had 19 points and 20 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Lakers, who were still missing Pau Gasol and Steve Nash, from opening a four-game road trip with a with a loss that could sting for a while…

C.J. Miles scored 28 in his first start this season, Anderson Varejao had 20 and Alonzo Gee 17 for the Cavs…

”I’m very upset,” Bryant said. ”When things get hard, you should get more determined, not shake your heads. It just seems when it rains it pours. It’s like this cloud is following us around at all times. I’m one of the fastest guys on the team - and I’m like 50. What does that tell you?”

– Reported by Tom Withers of the Associated Press