LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James scored 26 points, Carmelo Anthony added 24 while hitting six 3-pointers, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped the Cleveland Cavaliers’ three-game winning streak with a 113-101 victory Friday night.
Russell Westbrook had 19 points and six rebounds for the Lakers, who won for the third time in four games during their rocky start to the season. James and Anthony, the Lakers’ pair of 19-year NBA veterans, took control down the stretch with Anthony hitting three 3-pointers to the increasingly raucous cheers of his new fans at Staples Center.
Rookie Evan Mobley led the Cavs with 23 points about two miles up Figueroa Street from the Galen Center, where he starred for Southern California last season.
Ricky Rubio scored 18 points, Lauri Markkanen added 17 and Darius Garland had 18 points and 11 assists in the third stop on Cleveland’s five-game road trip. The Cavs struggled while the Lakers pulled away in the fourth quarter, missing 12 of their first 14 shots and going nearly six minutes between field goals.
James missed nine of his 10 3-point attempts, but had eight assists against his former team in his return from a two-game absence with a sore right ankle.
The Cavaliers’ strong recent stretch of play ended with this effort against the Lakers. Cleveland had beaten three possible title contenders in its previous three games, going through Atlanta, Denver and the Clippers with impressive efforts from its young roster.
The Lakers’ grand roster reboot continues to be eventful, but this win was their most encouraging of the young season. After adding 12 new players to its roster and then largely blowing off the preseason, Los Angeles has predictably struggled for teamwork and cohesion despite its star-studded roster.
Cleveland jumped to an 11-point lead in the first half before the Lakers finally got some defensive stops. Led by Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley. Los Angeles closed the first half on a 21-10 run to tie it.
The Lakers made another 15-3 run to close the third quarter with an 88-85 lead.
Cavaliers: Isaac Okoro missed his second straight game with a strained left hamstring. … Collin Sexton went 2 for 9 and scored nine points. … Kevin Love scored four points in 16 minutes.
Lakers: James didn’t decide to play until shortly before game time, but he didn’t have obvious limitations. … Wayne Ellington (left hamstring strain) was technically available, but didn’t play. He still hasn’t played for the Lakers after returning to the club he left in 2015.
Cavaliers: At Suns on Saturday.
Lakers: Host Rockets on Sunday.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports