Julius Randle had a career-high 36 points to go with 14 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks, leading the host Los Angeles Lakers to a 127-113 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night at Staples Center.
The score was tied in the third quarter when the Lakers went on a 22-3 run. Randle scored 10 points in the third period.
Cavaliers star LeBron James produced 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, but his Cavaliers lost for the fourth time in six games. James entered the game averaging 26.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and a career-best 9.0 assists.
James can opt out of his contract after this season, and his presence in Los Angeles inspired a Lakers fan to purchase four billboards in the city. The signs read: “L.A.Bron”, signaling the desire among many for the Lakers to sign James following this season.
However, on Sunday, he was overshadowed by Randle as well other Lakers. Brook Lopez had 22 points, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Isaiah Thomas contributed 20 points each.
Thomas, who was with the Cavaliers to start this season, was scoreless in the first quarter, missing all three of his shots. He bounced back to make 7 of 13 shots in the final three quarters, and he added nine assists and five rebounds.
Both teams have been riddled by injuries. The Cavs were without Rodney Hood (back), Tristan Thompson (right ankle) and Kevin Love (left hand).
The Lakers were without Brandon Ingram (left hip), Channing Frye (appendix) and Josh Hart (left hand).
Even so, the Lakers looked crisp early, compiling 11 assists and no turnovers in the first quarter, leading 33-29 entering the second. Pope and Lopez each had 10 points for the Lakers.
Los Angeles extended its lead to 65-60 at halftime, shooting 50 percent from the floor for the first 24 minutes while also accumulating 27 rebounds to 17 for Cleveland.
James had 16 first-half points — no other Cleveland player had more than 10 — and also led the Cavaliers with six rebounds and four assists before the break.
However, even James’ efforts weren’t enough in the crucial third quarter as the Lakers turned the game into a rout.
The Lakers finished the game shooting 50 percent from the floor with a plus-14 advantage in rebounds and plus-12 in points in the paint. Cleveland shot 46.6 percent from the floor.
—Field Level Media