Lakers give up early in Cleveland, losing 10th consecutive road game

Lakers give up early in Cleveland, losing 10th consecutive road game
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, left, tries to shoot over Lakers forward Tarik Black during the first half of a game on Feb. 8, 2015. (Mark Duncan / Associated Press)

The Lakers usually wait until the third quarter to fade, though lately they've coughed up games in overtime.

Sunday was different. They were done after the first quarter.


They quickly went from four down to minus-15 at halftime in a 120-105 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers that was much less competitive than the score indicated, keeping the Lakers at exactly one victory since Jan. 9.

That's a whole month.

They've also lost 10 consecutive road games, tying a franchise record done only twice before, most recently in 1964.

Things are looking everywhere but up for the team personified by Nick Young's swoon — 0 for 6 Friday against Orlando and three for 10 against Cleveland, including two late meaningless three-pointers.

"I haven't done the little 'Swaggy P' antics in a while," he said morosely. And accurately. And in a cloudy-headed way. He had a cold.

The entire team seemed unwell after back-to-back overtime losses, and an added jab came from Kevin Love, who had a season-high 32 points and closed the door on signing with the Lakers as a possible free agent this summer.

"No," he told reporters when asked whether there was any way he could see himself joining the Lakers.

The discrepancies between Love's current team and the Lakers were almost everywhere Sunday.

Cleveland's starting small forward had 22 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. His name is LeBron James. The Lakers' starting small forward had two points, two rebounds and no assists. His name is Ryan Kelly.

The Cavaliers made 18 of 33 three-point attempts (54.5%) at Quicken Loans Arena. The Lakers made seven of 23 behind the arc (30.4%).

"I thought our guys were just soft tonight. I really did," Lakers Coach Byron Scott said. "I thought we allowed them to just do whatever they wanted."

The Cavaliers (32-21) have won 13 of their last 14. The Lakers (13-38) have lost 13 of their last 14.

There was a relatively close matchup at point guard, an encouraging result for the Lakers. Kyrie Irving had a strong game — 28 points and 10 assists — but Jordan Clarkson wasn't far behind.

The Lakers rookie had a career-high 20 points and four assists, adding three steals and continuing his steady progress since becoming a starter a little more than two weeks ago.

Bizarre but true, though: The Lakers might be longing for last season. At least they beat the Cavaliers.

It was a wild one here last February, the Lakers seemingly down four players but still winning with help from an obscure rule that kept Robert Sacre in the game after he picked up his sixth foul.

No such breaks Sunday for the Lakers. Just the broken confidence of Young.

"I'm just psyching myself out," he said. "I've just been letting too much negativity get to me."

He also let a non-call get to him in the second quarter, picking up a technical foul and earning an immediate seat on the bench.

Said Scott: "That's something I expect from somebody that's 21, 22 years old, not [someone] that's been in the league seven or eight years."

Not that anyone really pegged the Lakers for playoffs when the season began, but May 19 can't come soon enough for their followers. It's the day of the draft lottery.

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan