Depleted Lakers make a stop in Cleveland

11:58 AM, Feb 5, 2014   |    comments
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( - A pair of teams with disappointing identical records collide Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena, as the Cleveland Cavaliers play host to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Cavaliers have lost five in a row and seven of their last eight games, including Monday's 124-107 drubbing at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks in the finale of a three-game road trip.

Kyrie Irving led seven Cleveland players in double figures with 27 points, while Luol Deng and Tristan Thompson scored 18 and 17 points, respectively, in defeat.

"I thought offensively we did some nice things out there," said Cleveland coach Mike Brown. "I thought we had some great looks from the perimeter -- especially early in the game -- that did not go in. The ball was moving fairly well, the spacing was good. We had some stretches where we couldn't score. Dallas took advantage of it and they got some easy buckets."

Jarrett Jack (12), Anthony Bennett (11), C.J. Miles (10) and Anderson Varejao (10) rounded out the double-digit scorers for the Cavs.

Cleveland is 11-12 at home this season.

The Lakers will resume their three-game road trip Wednesday and have lost seven in a row. They opened the trek with Tuesday's 109-99 loss at Minnesota, as Nick Young posted 24 points and Manny Harris added 19. Wesley Johnson scored 15 points for Los Angeles, which is winless in its last four road games.

"We did not compete in the first half," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "The second half we played much better. We're not good enough to spot them a half."

Lakers guards Steve Nash and Steve Blake both returned to the lineup, and both players started. Nash played 24 minutes and had seven points and nine assists, and Blake was held scoreless in 32 minutes of action, but had six assists and five boards.

The game was Nash's first since he exited a home matchup with the Timberwolves on Nov. 10 due to pain in his lower back. Blake had been sidelined since mid- December with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Blake ruptured his right eardrum in Tuesday's game, but played through the pain.

Prior to the game, the Lakers announced center Pau Gasol will be held out of the team's six remaining games prior to the All-Star break as he recovers from a groin strain. Lakers guard Jodie Meeks will miss Wednesday's game with an ankle injury.

The Lakers are 8-19 on the road and have given up 100 or more points in 15 straight games. They will close the trip Friday at Philadelphia. They dropped a 120-118 decision to the Cavs on Jan. 14 in L.A. and have lost three in a row at the Q.

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