Video Credit: NBA

FSM Recap: Lakers vs Cavaliers – Game 77 – 2023

Los Angeles Lakers (45-33) | Cleveland Cavaliers (46-32)


It was the Lakers vs the Cavaliers from the Barclays Center on Sunday evening. LeBron James & Anthony Davis led the way in the Lakers 116-97 win over Cavaliers on Saturday.


Lakers vs Cavaliers | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: William Liang/AP

The Los Angeles Lakers improved to 45-33 and moved into the eighth seed in the Western Conference after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 116-97. It’s the first time they’ve been that high in playoff seeding since December 29th, 2023. 

I think we’re in a really good spot,” Austin Reaves said. “And like you said, it’s all about playing your best basketball at the right time. It’s all about peaking at the right time and playing unselfish basketball and caring about one another.”

Anthony Davis had another stellar performance for Los Angeles, posting 22 points (7-of-11 FGs, 7-of-9 FTs), 13 rebounds, three steals and six blocks.

We’re very confident in our ballclub,” Davis said. “We laugh about like, oh, winning nine out of 10, you know, 10 out of 11, whatever, and we’re not gaining anywhere. That’s how good the West is.”

If the season ended after this game, the Lakers would be heading to New Orleans to play the seventh-seeded New Orleans Pelicans in the opening game of the Play-In Tournament.


Routing out stat lines for the Lake Show:


LeBron James had 24 points (10-of-18 FGs, 1-of-5 3s), 12 assists, and five rebounds.

D’Angelo Russell exploded for 28 points (11-of-17 FGs, 6-of-12 3s) and five rebounds.

Taurean Prince came off the bench and chipped in 18 points (7-of-9 FGs, 4-of-5 3s) and four rebounds.


For the Cavaliers:


Darius Garland led the starters with 26 points (11-of-25 FGs, 4-of-9 3s) and five steals.

Caris LeVert led the reserves with 21 points (8-of-14 FGs) and seven rebounds.

Donovan Mitchell came up short, totaling just 10 points (4-of-13 FGs, 2-of-9 3s, 0-of-2 FTs) and five turnovers, but made up for it with five rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and two blocks.

I thought we did some really good things in spurts. We just couldn’t sustain it enough to come out with a win,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “The turnovers kind of bit us in the butt. We also forced turnovers and didn’t convert on them.”


Lakers vs Cavaliers First Quarter:


Lakers vs Cavaliers | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Adam Pantozzi/NBAE/Getty Images

It was a strong start for the Lakers for what was a tricky transition back to the home building coming off a long trip. They hit 8-of-11 field goals to take a 20-16 lead into the first Cleveland time-out, with all five Los Angeles starters scoring. James was locked in with seven points and four assists already.

The Cavaliers countered with a quick 7-0 run against a smaller Lakers bench group (Gabe Vincent, Spencer Dinwiddie, Prince, Reaves, and Davis), which had Los Angeles down four, forcing their first time out.

LeVert repeatedly went to work against whichever smaller defender was on him and scored eight bench points in six minutes off the Cavs bench.

However, Los Angeles got some late 3s in the quarter from Prince and Russell, enough for a 36-33 lead to finish the first period. The Lakers shot 59.1 percent overall and 50 percent on 3s (5-for-10). On the other hand, the Cavs dominated the glass 14-7, while the Lakers’ bench unit was underwhelming.


Lakers vs Cavaliers Second Quarter:


Lakers vs Cavaliers | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

A 15-2 blitz from Los Angeles kicked off the second period and put them up 48-35 into a Cavaliers time-out. James was the point man and was up to 11 points on 5-of-7 FGs thus far, plus seven assists after finding Russell (15 points) and Prince (eight points) for back-to-back buckets.

With 3:38 left in the second, Russell was up to five 3s on the day (23 points) and 217 triples on the season as he continued to improve upon his Lakers single-season record and approach his record from 2018 with the Brooklyn Nets (234).

At halftime, the Lakers led 65-56. Los Angeles held Cleveland scoreless in the final two minutes of the second. Russell had 23 points (9-of-12 FGs, 5-of-8 3s), his second-highest scoring half of the season.


Lakers vs Cavaliers Third Quarter:


Lakers vs Cavaliers | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: William Liang/AP

Cleveland opened the third quarter on an 11-2 run to tie the game, 67-67, with 8:39 left in the period. The Cavs hit three 3s (Garland’s third and fourth, Max Strus’ first) to get to eight, two shy of tying Los Angeles’ 10 triples.

Performance fluctuated here for the Lakers, as they turned the ball over for four consecutive possessions. However, they responded to Cleveland’s push with a 14-0 stretch to take an 83-73 lead, capped by the fourth three from a perfect-shooting Prince.

At the end of three quarters, the Lakers still led 90-78. Los Angeles had a rough first half of the third but responded well to regain control of this game.


Lakers vs Cavaliers Fourth Quarter:


Lakers vs Cavaliers | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: William Liang/AP

The Lakers went up 15 with Russell’s sixth 3 of the game but then had a couple of sloppy possessions on offense and allowed an open three and an open layup to LeVert (19 bench points) to see their margin trimmed by a third.

Back-to-back offensive rebounds from Davis led to an offensive putback for himself and a cutting layup for James. Los Angeles was up 107-93 with 5:47 left in the game.

Davis and James continued their fourth-period dominance as Davis swatted Garland at the rim (his sixth block), then threw James an alley-oop on the other end to put the Lakers up 109-93.

Los Angeles moved a half-game ahead of the Sacramento Kings into eighth, though the Kings do hold the tiebreaker. The Lakers are also just half a game back of New Orleans now for seventh and 1.5 games behind the Phoenix Suns for sixth.


The Los Angeles Lakers will now take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, April 6th, at 7:00 pm PST. Thank you for visiting for your Las Vegas Sports news.


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