The Cleveland Cavaliers (14-24) defeated the Los Angeles Lakers (14-24) 120-118 to hand L.A. its fifth-straight loss. The Lakers have now lost 11 of their last 12 games.
After surrendering 40 second-quarter points to the Purple and Gold, the Cavs came out re-energized in the second half and poured in 63 points over the third and fourth quarters. They were led by 27 points (9-of-15 shooting, 5-of-5 from three) from Luol Deng, who added five rebounds and four assists to his final line.
The Cavs also received massive contributions from Anderson Varejao, who fell four assists shy of a triple-double, racking up 18 points, 18 rebounds (seven offensive) and six dimes in 37 minutes.
Kyrie Irving was quiet throughout and was limited to 30 minutes due to foul trouble. He finished with 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting and four assists. Dion Waiters added 17 points (7-of-8 from the line) in the win.
As a team, the Cavs shot 77 percent (13-of-17) from three, which proved to be the difference. They also scored 20 points off of 12 Lakers turnovers.
Nick Young led the Lakers with a game-high 28 points (7-of-16 shooting, 10-of-10 from the free-throw line) off the bench while Jodie Meeks added 26 points (6-of-10 from three) on a night when the Lakers shot 52 percent from the field and 38 percent from three.
Playing through a strain in his left big toe, Pau Gasol recorded a double-double with 20 points and 12 boards, but was unable to match Varejao's tenacity and energy on both ends of the floor.
Kendall Marshall continued to dole out serious dimes at Staples Center and finished with a game-high 16 assists to go with 10 points (4-of-11 shooting).
The Lakers will square off against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday in the first game of a seven-game road trip. Cleveland will be back in action on Wednesday night, too, as they cap off the second night of a back-to-back against the Portland Trail Blazers.
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