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The Wine & Gold travel to the Golden Coast on Sunday night to battle the Los Angeles Lakers in Tinseltown. Tipoff from the STAPLES Center is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. (ET).
As they continue their six-game roadie, the Cavaliers have had trouble getting the ball rolling, losing their past two games, including their most recent contest to the Houston Rockets on Friday night.
While the Cavs struggled against a red-hot Rockets team, the club still put up 113 points in the contest. A big part of their offensive production came from the charity stripe, hitting 24-26 (.923) from the free throw line on Friday night. The Cavs have now shot at least .900 from the charity stripe on 10 occasions this season, which is their most in a single season. Their previous franchise record was nine such games in 2017-18.
Cleveland had six players score in double figures against Houston, their 17th time accomplishing that feat this season (Ante Zizic–18, Cedi Osman–15, Collin Sexton–14, Alec Burks–13, Jordan Clarkson–12, Jalen Jones–12).
The Wine & Gold reserves had another solid night, pouring in 59 points, which was good for their third straight game with 50-plus points. On the season, the Cavs bench is putting up 44.3 points per game (fourth-highest in NBA).
Speaking of the bench, Ante Zizic tallied a season-high 18 points on 6-8 (.750) shooting from the field, a perfect 6-6 (1.000) clip from the foul line, eight rebounds and two steals in 24 minutes off the bench at Houston. It marked his first time he led the team in scoring in a game this season.
Cedi Osman recorded 15 points (6-10 FG), three rebounds and one steal in 28 minutes on Friday night. The Young Cedi has now scored in double-digits in 12 of his last 14 games (since 12/16).
Cedi's fellow starter, Collin Sexton, has now scored in double figures in 36 games so far (tied for second-most among all rookies this season). The rook is currently the only Cavalier to appear in all 43 games this season and ranks first among rookies in FT% (.884) and fourth in ppg (14.6).
As this young Cavs squad looks to get their footing on the West Coast, they'll be taking on another youthful squad in the Los Angeles Lakers. Heading into Sunday evening's affair, the Lake Show have won two of their last three games and sit at 23-20 on the season, which is good for third place in the Pacific Division standings.
However, LA's most recent result wasn't to their liking, losing 113-95 to the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City on Friday night. In the loss, five Lakers scored in double-figures with three of those performances coming from the team's reserves, including 10-year vet Michael Beasley who led his team in scoring with 17 points. Brandon Ingram scored 15 as a starter while Kyle Kuzma nearly tallied a double-double with 11 points and eight rebounds against Utah.
Sunday's matchup between the Cavaliers and Lakers will be the second, and final game played between the two teams. Their last game took place at Quicken Loans Arena on November 21 and saw LA win in a nail-biter (109-105) in The Land.
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Tune in for Cavaliers LIVE on FSO for pre-and-postgame coverage starting 30 minutes prior to tipoff and immediately following the conclusion of the game.
Radio: WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS, 87.7 La Mega
Programming Note: On Sunday, FOX Sports Ohio is airing the Blue Jackets – Rangers game (6:00 p.m.) and the Cavs – Lakers game (9:30 p.m.). To view channel information, CLICK HERE.
*Subject to change.
The Cavaliers enter Sunday night's game with a 7-2 record against the Lakers since the 2014-15 Season.
Over that nine-game stretch, the Cavs are averaging 116.9 points, scoring at least 110 points in seven of those matchups, as well as 120 points in five of them. The Wine & Gold have also shot a combined .493 from the field, while knocking down an average of 13.8 threes (.415 3FG%) and dishing out 23.8 assists (9.8 turnovers) in that stretch.
The Cavs have also excelled at Sunday's venue - the STAPLES Center - in recent history, going 4-1 in their last five games in Tinseltown. In those five games, Cleveland is averaging 117.4 points (.493 FG%, .423 3FG%) since 1/14/14.
The first time these two teams met (11/21/18), the Cavs recorded a season-low three turnovers, which was their lowest total in a single game since 3/9/09 vs. Portland when they tied the NBA record for fewest turnovers in a game with two (also done by Milwaukee vs. Indiana on 4/1/06 and Oklahoma City vs. LA Lakers on 3/5/13). The Wine & Gold also connected on 13 three-pointers and shot 14-15 (.933) from the free throw line.
Following Sunday's game in Tinseltown, the Cavaliers travel up the Pacific Coast to Rip City for a date with the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. The Wine & Gold will then round out their six-game roadie with a back-to-back later in the week when they face the Utah Jazz on Friday before taking on the Denver Nuggets the following night in the Mile High City.