The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, 116-102, to improve their record to 16-9 while maintaining the NBA’s best home record.
Yes, L.A. was without Anthony Davis for most of the game, as he left early due to flu-like symptoms, but the Cavs exploited his absence by shooting 51.6 percent from the field and scoring 70 points in the paint.
While Donovan Mitchell had his usual outstanding game – 43 points on 17-of-27 shooting – there was another stud for Cleveland who played a major factor.
Jarrett Allen Is Back
After missing the Cavs’ last five games, Allen returned versus the Lakers, and he gave them the business.
He scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, with most of his production coming in the first half.
Allen exploded for 22 points before intermission, and without Davis, Los Angeles simply had no answers for him.
Jarrett Allen at the half:
— Its Cavalier (@ItsCavalier_Pod) December 7, 2022
Allen may not be as intriguing a player as Mobley, as his ceiling may not be as high as Mobley’s, but he is a critical part of the Cavs’ roster with his ability to score at the rim, grab rebounds and protect the rim.
The Lakers needed an all-hands-on-deck effort, especially offensively, without their superstar big man, but one player who had been playing well of late failed to step up.
Lonnie Walker IV Was Off The Mark
Walker, a free agent signing by L.A. during the offseason, had averaged 17.9 points a game on 52.0 percent overall shooting and 47.2 percent from 3-point range over his last 10 games.
But on Tuesday, he couldn’t get going, as he was just 3-of-10 and missed all five of his attempts from downtown.
The Cavs did a great job of preventing the Lakers from getting good looks at the rim while forcing them to live off outside shots, most of which they missed.