Cavs (9-29) at Lakers (15-21) - Game #39
Mike D’Antoni has indicated, on record, the Lakers’ season starts tonight. That’s not good news for the Cavaliers -- as the Lakers have lost six straight and are desperate to turn things around. They also have the Cavs’ energetic win in Cleveland earlier this season as extra motivation. As for the Cavs, this is the second of a six-game road swing. By the end of it, they will have played more road games than anyone in the league (26).
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles.
TV/Radio: 9 p.m. EST, FOX Sports Ohio/WTAM
All-Time Series: Lakers lead, 59-42.
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (9-29)
C Tyler Zeller
PF Tristan Thompson
SF Alonzo Gee
SG CJ Miles
PG Kyrie Irving
LOS ANGELES LAKERS (15-21)
C Robert Sacre
PF Earl Clark
SF Metta World Peace
SG Kobe Bryant
PG Steve Nash
• Dwight Howard (shoulder) and Pau Gasol (concussion) are listed as out, but there’s a very slight chance one or both could play. If not, it’ll be the rookie Sacre and little-used Clark, making LA’s frontcourt considerably less intimidating.
• D’Antoni said Bryant will play on the ball, meaning Bryant is likely to defend Irving, with Nash on the Cavs’ shooting guards (Miles, Dion Waiters). The idea is for Bryant to use his length, athleticism and experience to disrupt the opponent’s offense right from the beginning.
• Nash now leads former Cavs star Mark Price by the slimmest of margins as the NBA’s all-time free throw leader (.9039 to .9038). Nash is 15-for-15 from the line this season. Nash has gone back and forth with Price as the leader/runner-up for two years running.
• The Lakers’ 15-21 start is their worst 36-game start since 1993-94, when they were 11-25. Losing streaks of six games or more are seasonal events for most teams -- but this is just the 20th in franchise history for the Lakers.