Two days after Anthony Davis led the Los Angeles Lakers over the Chicago Bulls in his return the Windy City, teammate LeBron James put on a show in hometown against his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Akron, Ohio native scored 17 points of his game-high 46 points in the opening quarter, carrying the Lakers over the Cavaliers 115-108 at Quicken Loans Arena in his return to Cleveland.
The 46 points came on 19-of-26 shooting from the field for James, including 7-of-11 from beyond the arc James also added eight rebounds and six assists.
“It’s always great to be close to home,” James said. “I got an opportunity to see my mom. I got an opportunity to see my uncle yesterday (Monday). It just warms my heart. Even though it’s a quick trip, any time I can come back to home base and get settled in, it’s a beautiful thing.”
Anthony Davis finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. The Lakers moved to 14-4 on the year and a perfect 10-0 on the road this season.
The Cavaliers dropped 8-9 on the year.
Top player: Montrezl Harrell once again brought energy off the bench for the Lakers, finishing with 15 points – including a thunderous, put-back dunk in the third quarter -- and six rebounds.
What I liked: The Lakers battled on the road, with 12 lead changes and 10 ties. L.A. finished with five players in double figures. Kyle Kuzma continues to attack the boards, finishing with eight rebounds, including a career-high six offensive rebounds.
What I did not like: The Lakers shot 10-of-32 from beyond the arc. L.A. led by as many as 14 points but allowed the Cavaliers to take an 89-87 lead at the end of the third quarter, and the game was back-and-forth the rest of the way. The Lakers once again struggled inside defensively, giving up a 60-52 paint points advantage.
Injuries: Jared Dudley missed an eighth straight game with right calf soreness.
They said it: “I think that’s a huge part of it. If you’re not a great passing team, you’re not going to have great shot quality. We have guys that can knock down open shots, but we have to make sure that the ball is being delivered, and the ball movement in general is good. But I also think part of it is playing with a dominant post player/roller in Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol being able to play at the top of the key, opening up the lane for us to get more penetration, which creates better shots at the 3-point line.” – Lakers head coach Frank Vogel on the importance of being a good passing team, resulting in being a good shooting team.