Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Instant Reaction: Cleveland Cavaliers 120, Los Angeles Lakers 118


Final Outcome

The first half was ugly for the Cavaliers – plain and simple. Down at the half to the lowly Los Angeles Lakers, the Wine & Gold rebounded nicely in the second half behind Luol Deng’s best game as a Cavalier and a monster night on the boards from Anderson Varejao. And while the game wasn’t perfect – the Cavaliers did only beat this awful Lakers team by two points and gave up 118 points, – the Cavaliers did get a much needed win on their west coast swing and their fourth overall road victory on the season.

Key Play of the Game

Luol Deng hit a 25-foot three pointer with 8:11 to go in the fourth quarter that put the Cavaliers up by a score of 101-100. From then on the Cavaliers never trailed the Lakers again and it prompted a Los Angeles timeout. This bucket, while not a game winner and not in crutch time per say, was key to the Cavaliers pulling out a win here. It started a fourth quarter run that say them pull away and overcome not having Kyrie Irving on the court due to foul trouble when he has earned his money so far in his NBA career. And all from a player currently shooting 27.7 percent from three so far this season.

Wine & Gold MVP

I give the award to Deng here due to the fact that he lead the Cavaliers in scoring and the Cavaliers needed to score a lot of points to win a basketball game. (That’s expert, top-notch analysis I know.) It was his best overall game for the Cavaliers and it showed that, on nights where the Cavaliers need him to, he can help burden the offensive load. Also deserving of some praise is Anderson Varejao, who dominated the boards tonight. Some late defense miscues lessened his overall performance, but all in all, the Brazilian big man played a solid game.

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Up Next

The Cavaliers will get no rest, as they will travel to Portland tonight to play the Trail Blazers tomorrow in the city with bacon maple donuts and noted donut enthusiast Tyler Zeller should fit right in. As for the basketball stuff (you know, what really matters) the Wine & Gold will be hard pressed to put up a similar effort to the one they put up in the first matchup between these two teams and continue to somewhat salvage this road trip.  Tip-off is at 10 PM from the Moda Center in Portland.

Tags: Anderson Varejao Cleveland Cavaliers Dion Waiters Kyrie Irving Luol Deng