Video Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Cavaliers – Game 9

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (2-7) | Cleveland Cavaliers (8-1)


Despite having a solid start to the game the Lakers lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers 114-100 as they could not overcome their mistakes down the stretch. 


Lakers vs Cavaliers
Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Dennis Schröder and Thomas Bryant remained out for this game, Patrick Beverley was out due to a non-COVID illness, and Wenyen Gabriel was also on the injury report with the same bug that’s been going around the team, but he was available to play.

Darvin Ham said that he hadn’t decided on the starter to replace Beverley. It wouldn’t be Russell Westbrook, as Ham likes how he’s playing in the Sixth Man role. Ham also told reporters that Beverley won’t travel to Utah, which will have him miss a second straight game.

Eventually, Ham would decide that Nunn would start. Typically when a coach brings a 3rd string player up to replace a starter it’s because they want to disrupt their rotation as little as possible. It’s way too soon to write off Nunn despite his frustrating struggles and he didn’t do much with the opportunity.

The Lakers’ starters against Cleveland were Nunn, Lonnie Walker IV, Troy Brown Jr., LeBron James, and Anthony Davis. Westbrook has continued to come off the bench and is quickly changing the narrative surrounding him.

The Lakers were off to a good start in this early game against the Cavaliers, scoring the first 7 points before Donovan Mitchell grabbed a ball that got deflected by the Lakers and drew a personal foul, sending him to the free-throw line.

Brown Jr. drained a three, then James and Davis both scored at the rim. With a strong defensive focus early, they held Cleveland to 1 of 8 shooting before Caris LeVert got a layup.

With Westbrook scoring five quick bench points, the Lakers’ lead grew to 17-9. But Mitchell kept Cleveland hanging around despite the impressive Lakers start, going 5 for 5 at the free throw line, and making 2 of Cleveland’s 4 field goals.

Walker IV went to the locker room briefly, but returned to the game and played through right wrist soreness. After leading by as many as 12, the Lakers’ lead was 36-30 after the 1st quarter. So far, Westbrook scored 12 points with 4 assists off the bench, and Davis went for 9 points with 4 boards and 2 assists.

Mitchell got to the free-throw line 9 times to help Cleveland stay attached. The Lake Show shot 12 for 14 in the Cleveland paint in that 1st quarter, which they’ve protected well this season behind the Jarrett Allen-Evan Mobley combo.

The Lake Show’s guards struggled with the slippery Mitchell and Darius Garland, who combined to attempt 13 free throws by now, largely after beating their first defender to get to the paint and draw fouls. But the Lakers were still up by 4.

James would come down and convert an and-1 in transition to draw the 3rd personal foul on Allen, who was forced to sit. Mobley also had 2 personal fouls at this point.

With Allen already on the bench, Mobley would quickly pick up his 3rd foul, forcing Robin Lopez into the action at the 6:04 mark of the 2nd quarter.


The Lakers were playing very well in this game and it was theirs to lose, but of course with fouling becoming an issue, you know the rest


Lakers vs Cavaliers
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

The Lakers would take a 64-58 lead into halftime after the teams scored 28 points apiece in the 2nd quarter. Their initial defense was strong, holding Cleveland to 38.1% from the field, except in terms of containing Mitchell and Garland with their free throw party where they were a combined 15 of 15. Westbrook already had 14 points coming off the bench in the 1st half, but he also already had 4 turnovers.

Westbrook came into the 2nd half still cooking with 3 assists already since checking in around the 8-minute mark, totaling 8 in his 18 minutes, helping to stop a Cavalier run that had them up by 5, 74-74.

Cleveland then took control of the game with a strong third quarter, outscoring the Lakers 29-16 to take an 87-80 lead into the final quarter.

The Lakers were down by 1 point when Davis got called for his 4th personal foul on an unusual double foul during a loose ball. Westbrook leads the team with 10 assists, but his 7th turnover on the night led to a breakaway layup for Dean Wade that put Cleveland up 12, its biggest lead yet. That’s 16 Lakers turnovers to Cleveland’s 9.

The Lakers led by six after the first half but were outscored 29-16 in the 3rd quarter, and 27-20 in the 4th quarter as Cleveland dominated the second half. The Final score read, Cavaliers 114, Lakers 100.


Key Takeaways


Lakers vs Cavaliers
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

James finished with 27 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Only two 2nd half field goal attempts for Davis in this game, after four 2nd half shots in Friday’s loss. His night ends with 19 points on 7 of 12 FGs and 5 of 9 FTs, plus 12 boards and four assists. Westbrook, off the bench, poured in 19 points on 6-13 from the field and 3-5 from three, 10 assists, and two steals. Walker IV posted a dud with just six points and 0-3 shooting from three.

Mitchell exploded for a weird 33 points as the Lakers held him to 1-7 from three but allowed him to acquire 12-13 from the free throw line. While Garland posted a respectable 24 points and seven assists.

The Lakers got outscored in the 2nd half 56-36 despite outscoring the Cavaliers 64-58 in the first half. Truly a tale of two halves, “Our spirit seemed to have left the building,” Ham told reporters after the game about the Lakers’ 2nd half performance.


The Lakers will travel to Salt Lake City, Utah to take on the Utah Jazz Monday, November 7th, at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. The game will be available on Spectrum SportsNet, and NBA League Pass.

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– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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