Lakers crush Cavs 112-57 in best defensive effort
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers humiliated the Cleveland Cavaliers while sending them to their 11th straight loss, rolling to a 112-57 victory on Tuesday night in their best defensive performance in the shot clock era.
Ron Artest and Andrew Bynum each scored 15 points, while Pau Gasol had 13 points and 14 rebounds. Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown also scored 13 points for the defending NBA champion Lakers, who led the league's worst team by 32 points at halftime on their way to winning their fifth in a row.
Reserves Alonzo Gee scored 12 points and Ramon Sessions 10. Cleveland's point total was a record low by a Lakers opponent. The Cavs shot 30 percent, were outscored 52-28 in the paint and committed 19 turnovers in losing for the 21st time in their last 22 games. They fell to 8-30 overall, 3-18 on the road and 1-5 against the Western Conference.
Brown hit a 3-pointer from just inside halfcourt to end the third quarter and give Los Angeles a 92-41 lead, the first time an NBA team has led by that many after three since Nov. 8, 2001, when Chicago was ahead of Minnesota.
Since LeBron James' offseason departure, the Cavaliers have gone from being a perennial playoff team that went 7-3 against the Lakers in their previous 10 meetings to a team struggling with injuries and mounting losses.
And after their acrimonious parting, James seems to be taking delight in his former team's embarrassing performance. While it wasn't clear what he was referring to on Twitter, he posted this while the game was getting out of hand: "Crazy. Karma is a b………….. Gets you every time. Its not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!"
The Cavs were without starting center Anderson Varejao, who tore his right ankle in a routine conditioning drill. Also missing were missing Joey Graham (right quad strain), Daniel Gibson (left ankle sprain), Leon Powe (right torn meniscus) and Anthony Parker (lower back strain).
Notes: The Lakers improved to 6-2 in the first game of back-to-backs. They'll visit Golden State on Wednesday. ... Gibson rejoined the Cavs in Los Angeles and will continue rehabbing his left ankle sprain as the team travels to Utah and Denver. ... Lakers F Matt Barnes had surgery on a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee earlier Tuesday. He's expected to be out eight weeks. ... Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, Medal of Honor recipient from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, delivered the ball to center court before the game.