Los Angeles, CA – Dwight Howard returned to the lineup and helped the Los Angeles Lakers snap out of their worst slide in six years.
Howard tallied 22 points and 14 rebounds as the Lakers put the brakes on a six-game skid with a 113-93 triumph over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Howard, who has missed the last three games with a right shoulder injury, went 9-of-11 from the field for Los Angeles, which finally earned its first win of the new year to put an end to the team's worst losing streak since February of 2007.
"When we play like this, we win, and we win big," Howard said.
Pau Gasol, though, is still out of the lineup. He missed his fourth straight game due to a concussion.
Kobe Bryant added 23 points and six assists in the victory.
Kyrie Irving recorded 15 points, seven assists and three steals for the Cavs, who have dropped seven of their last nine contests.
"There are going to be some bumps. We know that. We're not going to use that youth thing as a crutch, but there's some nights where we're playing a veteran team, and tonight it showed," Cavs guard C.J. Miles said.
The Lakers, who lost to the Cavs last month, jumped all over Cleveland in the opening frame. After Tyler Zeller's jumper pulled Cleveland within 17-14 midway through the first, Los Angeles outscored the visitors 20-6 for the rest of the period.
Bryant nailed a pair of 3-pointers and poured in eight points during the surge. Los Angeles led 37-20 after a quarter of and headed into the break with a 57-45 cushion.
Los Angeles took an 86-69 edge after three and the margin peaked at 30 in the fourth.
The Lakers scored 27 points off 16 Cleveland turnovers, while the Cavs registered 22 points off 22 Los Angeles giveaways ... Steve Nash had 10 points and nine assists for the Lakers.