Lakers lose after Cavs dominate in second half

Lakers lose their second straight game at home.

The Los Angeles Lakers are now 2-7 after 9 games after the young up-and-coming Cleveland Cavaliers beat them, 114-100. Like I said in my preview, the Cavs seemed legit. And they showed it on Sunday afternoon.

It looked very promising early for L.A. as they got off to a 21-9 start. But Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland were on all game. While the Lakers had a better defensive effort in the first half than their previous contest, the Cavs were able to get to the line a ton. They would outscore the Lakers at the line for the whole game, 32-12. It didn’t help that the Lakers only shot .571 from the stripe (12 for 21).

Still, the Lakers led the Cavs, 64-58, at the half. But then the Cavs went on a… Cavalanche. Cleveland scored 11 straight at the start of the third. L.A. was able to wrest the lead back, 80-77, before another… Cavalanche happened. Cavs went on a 17 to nothing run at the end of the third and the start of the fourth to essentially put the game away. Coach Darvin Ham waved the white flag with about five minutes left. The garbage-time Lakers cut the deficit to 9 for the patented Laker fake comeback but Mitchell got a three-point play to halt the rally.

The Lakers got plastered in the second half. They had yet another lackluster third quarter as they only scored 16 points. Once they got down, the game seemed to get tougher for them. They didn’t take care of the ball again (16 turnovers; Westbrook had 7 of those) and their offense just broke down. But the Cavs just made it so tough for them as they started to score on all levels.

Once again, the three-point shooting was less then desirable at 8 for 27 (.296). The Cavs didn’t, either, but that free throw discrepancy helped make up the scoring. And the Lakers offense went dead in that second half, only scoring 36 points (Cleveland scored 56).

Mitchell (33 points) and Garland (24 points, 7 assists) never stopped attacking. Jarrett Allen recovered from foul trouble and went for 16 points and 11 boards. Kevin Love got a double-double (10 points and 10 rebounds) off the bench. Lakers did win the battle in paint scoring, 56-48, but the Cavs bigs were able to close that gap in the last two quarters.

Davis disappeared once again in the second half; he only scored two of his 19 points there. LeBron James looked much better as he went for 27 points. Westbrook had 19 points and 10 assists; he looked great coming off the bench yet again (outside of the turnovers). Patrick Beverley didn’t play in this game; Kendrick Nunn started for him. The supporing cast didn’t do much, otherwise; Troy Brown, Jr. put in 12 while Lonnie Walker IV had a quiet 6 points.

They just can’t seem to put it together at both ends of the floor; it’s like ships passing in the night. The Lakers also need a jolt at the start of the second half; this has been such a theme for them even going back to last season. Davis has to be aggressive after halftime. It’s why some people hesitate to call him a superstar; it’s because he can’t seem to lead a team when they need him the most.

The Lakers can’t rest because they have a game on Monday night against the team that beat them on Friday, the Utah Jazz. They can’t tend to their wounds for too long. Hopefully, they can avoid a .200 winning percentage after Monday.

.200. I didn’t even score that low in my Science quizzes in high school.

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