Despite getting 42 points from Kobe Bryant, and 20 rebounds from Dwight Howard, the Los Angeles Lakers were unable to muster a win on the first night of their four-game road trip, falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 100-94, Tuesday night.
The Lakers turned the ball over 18 times and trailed this one seemingly from the opening tip. They clawed back from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter, but could never get over the hump and claim the lead.
Throughout the night, Cleveland wisely decided to use Utah's blueprint from their victory over Los Angeles Sunday night: every time the Lakers shoot, send your guards up the court for a quick outlet.
If the Lakers' transition defense continues to struggle, winning games—especially on the road—could be a rarity.