Avery Bradley ignited a third-quarter run with a 3-pointer Monday night as the Los Angeles Lakers, after trailing the entire first half, blew past the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers for a 128-99 victory.
LeBron James scored a game-high 31 points while Dwight Howard recorded 21 points and 15 rebounds off the bench, helping the Lakers win their ninth straight while snapping Cleveland’s two-game winning streak.
Kevin Love (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Tristan Thompson (17 points, 10 rebounds) had double-doubles for the Cavaliers, who had opened a six-game trip with victories at Detroit and Denver.
Love, Darius Garland and Thompson each had a hoop as Cleveland scored the game’s first six points en route to as much as an 11-point lead in the first quarter and a 14-point advantage in the second.
The Lakers rallied within 48-47 by halftime, and they still trailed 56-55 after a Garland layup in the fifth minute of the third quarter.
Bradley’s 3-pointer with 7:38 left in the third gave Los Angeles the lead for good and began a 13-0 burst that also included a three-point play by James. JaVale McGee’s jumper with 5:10 left in the period capped the run and gave the Lakers a 68-56 lead.
The Lakers were up by 14 at quarter’s end and gradually pulled away over the final 12 minutes in the opener of a two-game homestand.
James’ 31 points came on 12-of-16 shooting from the floor. He also found time for a game-high eight assists.
Bradley finished with 12 points, and he was followed by Kyle Kuzma with 11 and Danny Green and Alex Caruso with 10 apiece.
The Lakers outshot the Cavaliers 54.5 percent to 44.7 percent.
All five Cavaliers starters scored in double figures, with Collin Sexton (16), Garland (16) and Cedi Osman (15) joining Love and Thompson in the distinction.
The Cavaliers shot just 7-for-25 on 3-point attempts, with Osman accounting for four of the seven successes. The Lakers hit 11 of 30 tries from behind the arc.