Fueled by the return of Dwight Howard, the Los Angeles Lakers ended their six-game losing streak with a 113-93 home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.
Howard, who missed the last three games with a shoulder injury, scored 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Lakers jumped out to a 37-20 lead after the first quarter and never looked back.
Pau Gasol remained out, but Earl Clark once again filled in admirably with 13 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three blocks to round out a balanced attack from the Lakers, who improved to 16-21 with the victory.
Kyrie Irving had 15 points, seven assists and three steals for the Cavs, but it wasn't enough as they dropped to 9-30 on the season.
For a complete look at the full box score, check out NBA.com.
Player of the Game: Dwight Howard
You could really give it to anyone.
Clark had an impressive overall line. Steve Nash added 10 points and nine assists. Kobe Bryant had an efficient 23 points (just 14 field-goal attempts) to go with six assists. Even Antawn Jamison and Darius Morris scored in double-figures off the bench.
But Howard led the team with a plus/minus of plus-22, and despite an ugly seven turnovers, it was easy to see his crucial impact on both sides of the court in his return to action.
Up Next for Cleveland
The Cavaliers, who are now losers of two straight, get no time to rest—they head north to take on the Sacramento Kings on Monday night.
Up Next for Los Angeles
Los Angeles will get a day off before it tries to start a winning streak at home against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.