|W. Johnson||SF||L. Deng|
|P. Gasol||PF||T. Thompson|
|R. Sacre||C||A. Varejao|
|J. Meeks||SG||C. Miles|
|K. Marshall||PG||K. Irving|
K. Bryant: Knee Out until early February
S. Nash: Back Out until early January
S. Blake: Elbow Out until late January
X. Henry: Knee Out until early January
J. Farmar: Hamstring Out until early February
P. Gasol: Foot Probable
No injuries reported.
Deng has 27, Lead cavs past lakers 120-118
By Greg Beacham | January 13, 2014
LOS ANGELES (AP) Mike Brown had no interest in rehashing his past with the Los Angeles Lakers - not right now, not with his new team struggling.
He's much more intrigued by the possibilities in the Cleveland Cavaliers' future after a breakout game by their newest acquisition.
Luol Deng hit five 3-pointers while scoring 27 points, Anderson Varejao added 18 points and 18 rebounds, and the Cavaliers beat the spiraling Lakers 120-118 Tuesday night.
Dion Waiters scored 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers improved to 4-16 on the road. They also won for Brown in his return to Staples Center to face the Lakers, who fired him early last season before descending into the mess of a team that couldn't keep up with Cleveland down the stretch.
"I don't care where I am, I really want wins," Brown said. "If we win, I can take some satisfaction from it, but there's a lot of learning we can do from this game, too."
Jodie Meeks hit six 3-pointers while scoring a season-high 26 points in injury-plagued Los Angeles' fifth straight defeat. Nick Young scored 28 points, but the Lakers have lost 11 of 12 heading into a punishing seven-game road trip starting Wednesday in Phoenix.
"This is hard," said Young, who missed a potential tying 3-pointer with 10 seconds left. "We're losing, and we're losing players daily. It's frustrating, but we've still got to get up and play basketball. Nobody wants to get embarrassed. You've got to still take pride in that Lakers uniform."
Brown coached just 71 games with the Lakers, who hired him to succeed 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson in 2011 and then pulled the plug on his tenure five games into last season. Brown expressed no hard feelings or regret about his brief tenure with the Lakers, saying he's still on good terms with Kobe Bryant and other Los Angeles players.
Deng had five rebounds and four assists his first big game since joining Cleveland in a trade with Chicago a week ago. He was the centerpiece of the highest-scoring regulation performance of the season by the Cavs, who hit 13 of 17 3-pointers and outrebounded Los Angeles 48-35 to earn their second win in three stops on a five-game trip.
"There's a lot more optimism and a lot more talent now that Luol has been added to the mix," said Kyrie Irving, who had 13 points. "He's a great addition, and to get him on this road trip was big for us."
Deng and Waiters put the Cavs ahead during a 12-0 rally early in the fourth quarter, but Young hit three free throws with 25.3 seconds to play, trimming the lead to two points. Tristan Thompson missed two of four free throws in the final 16 seconds, but Young missed two late 3-pointers.
"We talked at halftime about coming out with a lot of energy, and I thought we responded well," Deng said. "Once we got the lead, they tried to get back in the game, and it was back and forth. But I thought we did a good job of keeping the lead and controlling the game at the end."
Pau Gasol had 20 points and 12 rebounds in the Lakers' only home game in a 22-day span. Los Angeles will be away for the next two weeks while the Grammys take over Staples Center.
Kendall Marshall had 10 points and 16 assists for Los Angeles, which had just nine players in uniform. Bryant, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry are all out with long-term injuries, and Gasol only determined he could play on his injured big toe after pregame warmups.
"It wasn't like our energy and focus weren't there," Gasol said. "We hung in there, but we couldn't pull it off. ... The defense needs to improve drastically, that's for sure. Whatever it takes to secure those boards, we need to be there."
NOTES: Henry won't return from the bone bruise in his right knee for at least another week, but he's likely to be the first injured player back for Los Angeles. ... Nash won't travel on the Lakers' upcoming road trip, instead heading back to Vancouver for rehab on his assorted injuries. The two-time MVP hasn't played since Nov. 10. ... F Earl Clark, who parlayed a decent season with the Lakers into a free-agent contract with Cleveland last summer, scored two points in five minutes.
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Lakers Head Coach Mike D’Antoni:
(On their performance in the third quarter)
“We talked about it for a couple days now where we can’t be flat and we were flat. We have to figure that out if it’s how we’re starting or the line-up or whatever, but we have to do a better job that’s for sure.”
(On their energy in tonight’s game)
“I think we played pretty well. We missed some shots defensively, but offensively we took care of the ball. We made shots off Nick [Nick Young] and Jodie [Jodie Meeks] played extremely well and Nick had a great game. We moved the ball with 30 or so assists I think so there was a lot of good stuff. Again, guys will keep their head open and keep battling and keep getting better. Hopefully we can build off this and stay positive.”
(On Nick Young’s last two shots of the game)
“They weren’t easy shots. I thought he played well. He had pretty good looks at it, but I think one in the corner is a hard one but that happens.”
(On their next seven games on the road)
“We knew it was coming. We looked at it in August so it didn’t sneak up on us. The injuries came at a bad time, but we will fight through it and we have to hopefully turn around and get some more wins. It could be nice to find ourselves on the road.”
(On tonight’s game)
“Were just trying to play one game at a time and just keep fighting. I thought they fought tonight and I thought their energy was good. I wish they got rewarded. They didn’t get rewarded because we played well enough to win and it didn’t happen. We will be ready tomorrow night.”
Lakers guard Nick Young
(On his missed potential game-tying three)
“It felt good. There’s nothing to say. I wish I could take it again, and I’ll take it again. I just wish it went in.”
(On why Cleveland went 13-17 on three-pointers)
“We just put a hand in their face, and [Luol] Deng made some tough threes. They [Cleveland] came out in that third quarter on fire, and that’s where it kind of hurt us a bit. We just have to come out in that second half with more energy.”
(On mindset heading on a 7-game road trip)
“We have to somehow get a win. That’s all there is about it. We have to stay with it, don’t give up. It’s too early in the season to give up, and just go into the gym and lay an egg every night. We still have to play with pride, go out there, and compete. We have to do it for the fans.”
Lakers guard Jodie Meeks
(On whether Cleveland’s three-point shooting was them being hot or the Lakers not closing out on defense)
“A little bit of both. We have to be better. There’s no excuses, and whatever’s going on, we’re a team. We have to be better on defense, and that will translate to offense.”
(On what the Lakers need to do to get a win on 7-game road trip)
“Just play free. We don’t have anything to lose. Try to win as many games as possible. We’re playing some good teams, but I feel like we can win them.”
(On if his rhythm is as good as it has been)
“I’m trying to do everything I can personally, but it doesn’t mean anything if you’re not winning. I hate the taste of losing, and try to win every game and figure it out.”
Lakers forward Jordan Hill
(On being outrebounded 16-6 on offensive rebounds)
“We have to box out. They were shooting threes, and on long rebounds, the guards have to come in and help us out a little bit. They have two of the best rebounders in the league with Tristan [Thompson] and [Anderson] Varejao... We just have to give a lot of energy for it.”
(On what to take positively from tonight)
“We never gave up. We played hard. It could have been better, rebounding definitely hurt us tonight, and we all have to band together and get those boards and box out.”
(On the Lakers’ coming out slow in the third quarter)
“There’s no explanation. There shouldn’t be an explanation. We should just go out there and do the same thing we did in the first half. It’s no problem. We know we can get wins and play aggressive, and we have to go out there and have fun and take pride in doing it.”
All-Time Series Notes: This will be the 103
meeting between the two teams with the Lakers
holding a 60-42 series advantage … In their last 10 overall meetings, the Lakers are 5-5 against the
Cavaliers ... The Lakers are 11-3 all-time against the Cavaliers at STAPLES Center while in
Cleveland, they have gone 2-8 in their last 10 visits to Quicken Loans Arena ... In a game against
the Cavaliers 1/11/11 at STAPLES Center, the Lakers defeated Cleveland 112-57 ... The 55-point
margin of victory is the third largest in team history, while the 57 points allowed are the fewest by a
Lakers opponent in the shot clock era ... In 31 games against the Cavaliers (28 starts), Kobe
Bryant is averaging 23.6 points per game ... Bryant scored a series record 47 points 1/30/01 at
Cleveland, but has faced a variety of health-related issues when facing Cleveland in recent years ...
On 2/8/09 at Cleveland, Bryant played through the effects of flu-like symptoms ... In the prior
meeting on 1/19/09, Bryant suffered a dislocated ring finger on his shooting hand but continued to
play, marking the 3rd time Bryant has been injured against the Cavs ... In 2004, Bryant suffered a
sprained right shoulder that limited him to 17 minutes, five of which came after injuring his shoulder
in the final seconds of the 1st quarter (1/12/04) ... Bryant tallied 10 points, 5 rebounds and 2
assists, playing five 2nd quarter minutes predominantly left handed ... The following season,
Bryant suffered a severely sprained right ankle after landing on Ira Newble’s foot with 5:39
remaining in the first period (1/13/05) and did not return until the Lakers/Cavs next meeting that
Connections: Cavaliers F Earl Clark played for the Lakers in 2012-13, averaging 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in 59 games... Cavaliers F Alonzo Gee and Lakers G Nick Young were
teammates on the Washington Wizards for part of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons... Cavaliers G Jarrett Jack was teammates with Lakers guard Steve Blake on the Portland Trail Blazers
during the 2005-06 and 2007-08 seasons ... Jack was also teammates with Lakers G Xavier Henry and C Chris Kaman on the New Orleans Hornets during the 2011-12 season ... Cavaliers
assistant coach Igor Kokoskov coached Lakers guard Steve Nash (2008-12) and Wesley Johnson (2012-13) while in the same role with the Phoenix Suns… Cavaliers assistant coach Bret
Brielmaier was college teammates with Lakers forward Jordan Hill at Arizona during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons ... Cavaliers C Tyler Zeller played collegiately with Lakers G Kendall
Marshall at North Carolina during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons ... Kyrie Irving and Lakers forward Ryan Kelly were college teammates at Duke during the 2010-11 season … Cavaliers
head coach Mike Brown was head coach of the Lakers in 2011-2012 and part of 2012-13, finishing with a 42-29 regular season record and 5-7 playoff record ... Cavaliers assistant coach Bernie
Bickerstaff was in the same position on the Lakers during the 2012-13 season, and went 4-1 as the Lakers’ interim head coach ... Bickerstaff coached Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak
for five seasons, from 1976 to 1981, while an assistant on the Washington Bullets.