Lakers beat Cavs 127-103 in Staples Center
March 11, 2018
The Cleveland Cavaliers visited the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. Below, I took old school with raw game notes taken live as the action happened. And we have more content coming from this game over the next day or two, including some player quotes that go beyond this matchup, as well as a one-on-one interview.
Former Laker Larry Nance Jr received a nice reaction from the crowd.
Laker fans continue to greet Kyle Kuzma with a a loud "Kuuuuuuuuuuuz!" As they should.
Introduced last for the Lakers was Lonzo Ball.
Early on, the Cavs aren't getting much from anyone not named LeBron James. He's 2-for-3, while the rest of the team is 1-for-8.
The Lakers lead 12-7, mid first quarter.
As Lonzo Ball cut, so did Brook Lopez, allowing Ball to toss it for an easy assist in the paint.
LeBron again. Basket plus the foul. He now has 10 of the Cavs' 12 points. Lakers up 14-12.
During that LeBron free throw, Isaiah Thomas checked in for the Lakers.
Lopez banks in a jumper. Always nice to see bank-shots in today's game.
Larry Nance Jr's athletic ability resulted in him grabbing his own offensive rebound for a bucket, pulling the Cavs to within six.
That Lopez jumper again. He's a center but shoots face-up jumpers. You've hopefully accepted this by now.
Around 2:10, Kuzma backed his defender down and tossed in a nice turnaround jumper. Good move for a young player.
Bunches of Cavs have chipped in to help LeBron, keeping things close.
Thomas is 0-of-3, but he does have three assists.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been nailing jumpers all quarter. He's 4-of-6, 2-of-4 threes, for 10 points.
End of first quarter: Lakers 33, Cavs 29. Lopez, Caldwell-Pope and LeBron each have 10 points. Randle has seven. Five players have four points.
Some vocal Laker fans are testy about Isaiah Thomas. He's still on trial, in their opinion. No objection from me.
Both teams are having their struggles early in the second quarter.
Jose Calderon, who is still in the NBA, and still on the Cavs, just drove and scored. That's not supposed to happen, but it did.
Lonzo Ball is now 1-of-5.
LeBron with a steal, and a world-class finish on a 1-on-2 fast break.
Some of the loudest cheers of the game so far came from a Randle drive and dish to Caldwell-Pope, whose three-pointer gave him 13 points for the game and put the Lakers up 47-39.
Randle has five assists now, mid second quarter.
Lots of open three-point opportunities for the Lakers.
LeBron again. He has 16 points now, on nine shots.
Cavs forward Larry Nance Jr scores. No reaction from Laker fans. They showed him some love during the game intros. That was enough.
LeBron is so strong. Like, but really.
JR Smith, who has been quiet, hits a tough, contested three that pulls the Cavs to within three, late second quarter.
Halftime: Lakers 65, Cavs 60. LeBron 16 points, six rebounds, four assists. Caldwell-Pope 15 points, four rebounds. Lopez 14 points, four rebounds. Randle 13 points, five rebounds, five assists. Nance Jr 10 points. Kuzma nine points, six rebounds. Lonzo Ball has three points, five assists.
LeBron ran a break and fired a pass to Jeff Green, who was soundly rejected by Randle. One of the top defensive plays of this game so far.
But next play, LeBron penetrated and tossed a lob to Nance Jr, who soared high in the sky and threw down a beauty. Tie game, 72-all at the 7:09 mark.
That's five assists for LeBron. Game-leader in assists right now is Randle, with six. Lonzo Ball also has six.
Fun watching Ball penetrate while Lopez slides down the paint, to catch a pass. Still determining how much I like that play from those two.
Fans did not appreciate a foul call on Kuzma as he defended LeBron on the baseline with the shot clock about to expire. Kuzma didn't appreciate it either. There was just an overall lack of appreciation from the Laker side on the foul call, is the main point of this presentation.
The Lakers are rolling. Up 11 now. Julius Randle now with 21 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, late 3rd quarter.
Isaiah Thomas doing things. Dishing an assist, then scoring next play.
End of third quarter: Lakers 98, Cavs 82. Randle 23 points, 12 rebounds, six assists. LeBron 22 points, eight rebounds, six assists. Lopez 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists. Caldwell-Pope 17 points. Kuzma 14 points, nine rebounds. Nance Jr. 14 points, eight rebounds. I.Thomas 12 points, five rebounds, five assists.
Isaiah Thomas has exploded early in this quarter. Lakers up 19 with 9:25 left.
It's been the Randle and Thomas show for the Lakers, with support from Lopez and Caldwell-Pope.
And then after a timeout, Kyle Korver flings in a three. Now a 16-point game. And then LeBron muscles his way to a layup. Now a 14-point game. Suddenly the game is within reach again. It's Lakers 106, Cavs 92. LeBron now with 24 points, nine rebounds, six assists.
I'd like to see more Lakers move without the ball when Isaiah has the rock.
Mid 4th quarter, the Lakers are shooting 50% FG, 39% 3FG, and 90% FT.
Lakers up 20 with five minutes left. LeBron now on bench. Unless something crazy happens, I'm done typing until the final buzzer.
Final score: Lakers 127, Cavs 113.
For the Lakers, Randle finished with 36 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. Lopez 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Thomas 20 points, five rebounds and nine assists. Caldwell-Pope 20 points and six rebounds. Kuzma grabbed 10 rebounds. Ball shot just 2-of-11, but dished seven assists.
For the Cavs, LeBron 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Nance Jr. 16 points and eight rebounds.
We'll post more from this game on Monday, including some player quotes, and an interview with Kyle Kuzma.