With the return of the Cavaliers’ ‘Big Three’ to the starting lineup following a night of rest in Memphis earlier this week, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love led a strong offensive performance in a 119-108 win against the Los Angeles Lakers. Each member of Cleveland’s “big three” scored over 20 points, a feat that the team has accomplished 14 times with a 13-1 record.
Despite coming off a back-to-back in Philadelphia, the Lakers came out to a quick start, outscoring the Cavs 31-26 half. Nick Young had a game high 32 points, including eight three-pointers, 12-19 shooting, with three assists and two rebounds. The young Lakers core combined for 16 three pointers and put up a consistent fight throughout but never managed to regain their first quarter lead. Jordan Clarkson had 20 points off the bench.
Irving matched a career-high 12 assists, including nine of the team’s 17 assists in the first half. He finished with 21 points, six rebounds and three steals. James had a surprising ingly low scoring first half with five points and just one completion from the field but turned on strong in the second half to finish with 26 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds. And Kevin Love had a team high 27 points with 17 rebounds, his 345th double-double. The team also had 25 points off the bench from Shumpert, Jefferson, and Frye.
This was an offensive battle that spoke more to the Lakers fight than the Cavaliers defensive shortcomings. While giving up 108 points at home is not ideal, their offense when their big three is on the court is clicking and that’s good enough for the first place team in the East.
The Cavs now are 19-6 on the season and hold a 1.5 game lead for first place in the Eastern Conference ahead of the Toronto Raptors. They will get two nights off before another home-and-home series with the Milwaukee Bucks, starting in Milwaukee on Tuesday.