CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cavs (18-6) will get their first look at the Los Angeles Lakers (11-18) without the retired Kobe Bryant tonight at 7:30 p.m.
What’s up with the Cavs: First of all, yes, everyone who normally starts is scheduled to do so. Breathe easy, sports fans. As for LeBron James, he needs 28 points to pass Moses Malone (27,409 points) for eighth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Kevin Love has scored at least 20 points in his last five games — his longest streak as a Cav. After a bad stretch defensively (and three consecutive losses to begin the month, Cleveland has held five of its last six opponents under .440 shooting. The Cavs have won four straight over the Lakers.
Cavs injuries: Chris “Bird Man” Andersen (torn right ACL) is out.
What’s up with the Lakers: They beat the 76ers Friday night, snapping their eight-game losing streak. Been a rough couple weeks for first-year coach and former Cav Luke Walton, who had this team — playing without any true stars on the roster for the first time in ages — off to a 10-10 start. Old friend Timofey Mozgov (signed a four-year, $64 million contract to leave the Cavs in July) is scoring more this season, but is averaging fewer blocks (0.5 per game) now than at any time over the last five seasons. Reserve Laker forward Lou Williams scored 137 points in four games from Dec. 3-9, the most points scored by a backup over four games in NBA history since the league started tracking starters in 1970.
Lakers injuries: Jose Calderon (right hamstring strain) is out.
F LeBron James (25.0 ppg; 7.6 rpg; 9.0 apg)
F Kevin Love (22.0 ppg; 10.4 rpg; 1.7 apg)
C Tristant Thompson (6.6 ppg; 10.2 rpg; 0.8 apg)
G J.R. Smith (8.5 ppg; 2.3 rpg; 1.4 apg)
G Kyrie Irving (23.9 ppg; 3.0 rpg; 4.7 apg)
F Luol Deng (7.6 ppg; 5.3 rpg; 1.4 apg)
F Julius Randle (12.9 ppg; 8.9 rpg; 3.2 apg)
C Timofey Mozgov (8.3 ppg; 5.0 rpg; 0.9 apg)
G Nick Young (13.3 ppg; 2.5 rpg; 1.0 apg)
G D’Angelo Russell (15.0 ppg; 3.3 rpg; 4.5 apg)