Irving scores 46 as Cavaliers beat Lakers
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[March 20, 2017]
LOS ANGELES -- Cleveland
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said his club coasted for three quarters
before launching a rally in the final period against the Los Angeles
Kyrie Irving scored 46 points, and the Cavaliers used a
fourth-quarter rally to knock off the Lakers 125-120 on Sunday at
"They played well against us, but I know our team and the way we
are," Lue said. "Sometimes, you have to understand it is not a show
but a competition. When you get to L.A. and play teams like this, we
consider it a show instead of competition. When you get down early,
it hurts your confidence and now you got to fight and try to win
Irving connected on 15 of 21 shots from the floor and 6 of 10 from
3-point range for the Cavaliers, who increased their lead over the
Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference to 2 1/2 games. LeBron
James contributed 34 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and
Kevin Love added 21 points and 15 boards for Cleveland (46-23).
"Me and (James) kind of put the team on our back and everyone just
followed suit," said Irving, who scored 25 points in the second
half, 14 of those in the fourth quarter. "We just did a great job of
continuing to attack, and in the fourth quarter we locked down
D'Angelo Russell, who hit seven 3-pointers, scored a career-high 40
points for the Lakers, who lost their fifth in a row. The
21-year-old Russell became the youngest Laker to score that many
"That's dope," Russell said.
Jordan Clarkson had 19 points and Brandon Ingram chipped in 18 for
Los Angeles (20-50).
Irving's 3-point bucket with 4:09 remaining gave the Cavaliers a
109-106 lead. They never trailed again.
"It wasn't nice to look at because I know who we are," Lue said of
Cleveland's first three quarters. "I am just happy to get out with
the win and it was just one of those games."
Russell scored 15 points in the third quarter to help boost the
Lakers to a 92-82 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. They
increased the margin to as much as 11 in the fourth before the
"They shot the ball extremely well, like I said," said James, who
scored 22 points in the second half. "We just had to figure out a
way to weather the storm."
After a dunk by David Nwaba gave Los Angeles a 94-83 edge, Cleveland
reserve forward Richard Jefferson scored seven straight points to
spark an 11-3 run by the Cavaliers to cut the gap to 97-94 after
three free throws by Love with 7:37 remaining.
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Cavaliers guard Kyrie
Irving (2) moves the ball against Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius
Randle (30) and guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during second half at
Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Irving's two free throws with 4:31 left tied the
score at 106 before the Cavaliers took control.
"It's just winning basketball," Irving said. "In the fourth quarter,
there's no need to be nervous, no need to feel any type of pressure
if there is such a thing. You just go out there and play."
Russell, who started in place of Lakers guard Nick Young
(gastroenteritis), scored 18 points in the first quarter. Russell
had 22 in the first half as the Lakers took a 59-55 lead at the
"I feel like we didn't have anything to lose, so we went out there
and competed the whole game, and they responded the way they were
supposed to respond," Russell said.
Walton wasn't surprised James and Irving, who combined for 28 points
in the final period and 47 in the second half, rallied the Cavs.
"They're a top two or three team in the league and the defending
champs," Walton said. "They're not going to go away, that's what
they do. That's why they're two of the best. We had our chances to
score and get stops and push and Kyrie made some really tough shots.
Then, they obviously went small and just started switching
NOTES: Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving has scored 20 or more points in a
career-high 18 consecutive games, which is the longest streak in the
NBA. ... Cleveland's six straight wins over the Lakers set a
franchise record. ... Lakers coach Luke Walton was teammates with
Cavaliers F Richard Jefferson (1999-2001) and F Channing Frye
(2001-03) at the University of Arizona. ... Cavaliers G Kyle Korver
(sore left foot) missed his seventh consecutive game. ... The
Cavaliers visit the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. ... The Lakers host
the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.
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