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Irving scores 46 as Cavaliers beat Lakers

March 20, 2017 12:05 AM
LOS ANGELES -- Kyrie Irving scored 46 points, and the Cleveland Cavaliers used a fourth-quarter rally to knock off the Los Angeles Lakers 125-120 on Sunday at Staples Center.

Irving connected on 15 of 21 shots from the floor and 6 of 10 from 3-point range for the Cavaliers, who increased their lead over the Boston Celtics for first place in the Eastern Conference to 2 1/2 games.

LeBron James contributed 34 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and Kevin Love added 21 points and 15 boards for Cleveland (46-23).

D'Angelo Russell, who hit seven 3-pointers, scored a career-high 40 points for the Lakers, who lost their fifth in a row. Jordan Clarkson had 19 points and Brandon Ingram chipped in 18 for Los Angeles (20-50).

Irving's 3-point bucket with 4:09 remaining gave the Cavaliers a 109-106 lead. They never trailed again.

Russell scored 15 points in the third quarter to help boost the Lakers to a 92-82 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. They increased the margin to as much as 11 in the fourth before the Cavaliers rallied.

After a dunk by David Nwaba gave Los Angeles a 94-83 edge, Cleveland reserve forward Richard Jefferson scored eight straight points to spark an 11-3 run by the Cavaliers to cut the gap to 97-94 after three free throws by Love with 7:37 remaining.

Irving's two free throws with 4:31 left tied the score at 106 before the Cavaliers took control.

Russell, who started in place of Lakers guard Nick Young (gastroenteritis), scored 18 points in the first quarter. Russell had 22 in the first half as the Lakers took a 59-55 lead at the break.

NOTES: Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving has scored 20 or more points in a career-high 18 consecutive games, which is the longest streak in the NBA. ... Cleveland's six straight wins over the Lakers set a franchise record. ... Lakers coach Luke Walton was teammates with Cavaliers F Richard Jefferson (1999-2001) and F Channing Frye (2001-03) at the University of Arizona. ... Cavaliers G Kyle Korver (sore left foot) missed his seventh consecutive game. ... The Cavaliers visit the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. ... The Lakers host the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.
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