CLEVELAND: The Lakers started with eight healthy bodies and finished with five, but had little trouble humiliating the Cavaliers on Wednesday with a 119-108 victory.
The Lakers were without Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash, among others, but made 18 3-pointers, shot 53 percent and led by as many as 29 before a furious fourth-quarter Cavs rally. The Lakers ended a seven-game losing streak and had lost 19 of their last 22 games, but began Wednesday making their first six 3-pointers to effectively put the game out of reach by the end of the first quarter when they led 36-17.
At one point, the Lakers had made seven 3-pointers in the amount of time it took the Cavs to make seven baskets.
Mike Brown ignored his starters for the fourth quarter and stuck with a lineup of Anderson Varejao, Dion Waiters, C.J. Miles, Anthony Bennett and Matthew Dellavedova for the bulk of it. That group chopped an 18-point deficit to start the quarter to 114-108 in the final minute, but Steve Blake’s 3-pointer with 57 seconds left pushed the lead back to nine and clinched the win.
The Lakers effectively ended the game with an ineligible player. Nick Young left in the first half with a knee injury and Chris Kaman fouled out in the fourth quarter. When Robert Sacre fouled out later in the quarter, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni told the officials he was out of healthy players. Jordan Farmar began the night with a tender hamstring, but there was no confirmation immediately after the game ended if he reinjured it. Regardless, Sacre was allowed to remain in the game despite fouling out, but every ensuing foul (he didn’t have anymore) would’ve counted as a technical.
Steve Nash, who was not expected to play, emerged from the locker room dressed for the final couple of minutes in case he was needed in an emergency.
C.J. Miles had 27 points off the bench, Anderson Varejao had 15 points and 13 rebounds and Anthony Bennett had 14 points and eight rebounds.
Kyrie Irving had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists, but did not play in the fourth quarter. The Cavs shot 5-for-33 on 3-pointers.
The Cavs matched their longest losing streak of the season at six games and have dropped eight of their last nine to fall farther and farther out of contention for the final playoff spot in the woeful Eastern Conference.