The Cleveland Cavaliers’ three-game winning streak was snapped on Friday night as they fell to LeBron James and the Lakers 113-101 at Staples Center.
The game was tied at 54 at halftime, but the Lakers(3-3) pulled away in the fourth quarter to get the victory.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line of Cleveland’s loss to the Lakers.
The Great for the Cavaliers:
-Evan Mobley is the real deal. The rookie had a team-high 23 points and snatched six rebounds, and three assists in a team-high 36 minutes of action. This kid does not appear to get rattled, and according to him, he’s ahead of schedule, which could be scary for the rest of the league.
“I feel like I’m getting adjusted to the NBA pretty fast,” Mobley said postgame. “I feel like I’m pretty ahead of schedule so far.”
-Darius Garland had a double-double with 18 points and 11 assists(six turnovers). It was Garland’s second double-double of the season.
-Lauri Markkanen had a season-high 17 points(7/14 FG) on Friday night, which included a season-high three three-pointers. Markkanen has struggled with his shot(30.5 FG%) thus far this season, so it’s good to see him put the ball in the basket.
-Ricky Rubio continues to bring it every night. He had 18 points, six rebounds, and four assists off the bench. What an acquisition for this team. It’s early, but if Rubio keeps playing at this level, he could be in the discussion for Sixth-Man of the Year.
The Not so Great for the Cavaliers:
-Fourth-quarter: Cleveland trailed 88-85, heading into the fourth quarter. However, they went completely cold in the fourth. They shot 4/18(22%) from the field and were outscored 25-16 in the quarter. The Cavs took their last lead of 91-90 with just under eight minutes left, but the Lakers would go on a 10-0 run, and Cleveland never threatened after that.
-Defense: One of the reasons Cleveland won three straight was their defense. The Cavaliers held teams below 90 points and below 410% shooting from the floor in those three wins. However, the Lakers scored 113 points with 55% shooting. Los Angeles also had 60 points in the paint.
-After scoring 26 points against the Clippers on Wednesday night, Collin Sexton, the team’s leading scorer, was a non-factor against Los Angeles. He scored 9 points on 2/9 shooting.
This was not a bad loss for the Cavs. They competed against the Lakers, who you knew would be tough to beat after their loss to the Thunder on Wednesday. In addition, Cleveland kept it close and even had a lead in the fourth. The Cavs can hold their heads up high after this loss.
Cleveland(3-3) continues their five-game road trip as they travel to Phoenix to battle the Western Conference Champions, the Suns(1-3), on Saturday night; Phoenix, who has lost two straight, is 0-2 at home this season.
Best of the Rest:
In his return from an ankle injury, LeBron James led the Lakers with 26 points, eights assists, and three rebounds; Carmelo Anthony added 24 points, including six three-pointers off the bench.
Watch below as Mobley, Rubio, and Markkanen react to loss against Lakers: