Eversheds change of toon trips up city developers

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Lakers battle but come up short against LeBron James, Cavs

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersIt was a strong performance for the Lakers, who finished a four-game trip that started a week earlier in Philadelphia.“We’ve been on the road for nine days and only played three games so far,” Coach Luke Walton said. “That gets tiring in its own right. It’s a lot easier to come in a little fatigued tonight and not give the same effort.”If the Lakers have any chance of using their salary-cap space to lure James and another top free agent, namely Oklahoma City’s Paul George, next summer, their young stars need to show they are ready to compete at the highest level.On Thursday, playing at the end of an eight-day trip, the Lakers kept answering each of the blows delivered by the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions.When Cleveland made 3-pointers on three straight possessions in the second quarter, the Lakers hung strong. When their nine-point lead earlier in the quarter had been flipped to a five-point hole, Lonzo Ball knocked down a step-back jumper – with a toe on the line – to keep the game tight. After the Cavs built a 102-92 lead in the fourth, L.A. answered with six straight points to keep from getting blown out. When the lead grew back to 11, the Lakers whittled it to five at 113-108.The two franchises are in significantly different stages, with the Lakers figuring out how to get back to a championship level and James aiming for an eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals.More to come on this story. Heisler: Lakers dream of LeBron James, even a middle-aged one Kevin Love scored a game-high 28 for the Cavaliers, while Brandon Ingram led the Lakers with 26 and rookie Kyle Kuzma scored 20 off the bench. Josh Hart, making his first career start in place of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – who was not with the team due to personal reasons – added career highs in points (11) and rebounds (10) while playing 33 minutes. PreviousCleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) falls into the seats in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball (2) looks to pass against Cleveland Cavaliers’ Dwyane Wade (9) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) dunks against Los Angeles Lakers’ Larry Nance Jr. (7) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers’ Brandon Ingram, left, passes around Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyle Korver in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 121-112. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)Cleveland Cavaliers’ Jose Calderon (81), from Spain, looks to pass against Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma (0) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James, right, drives past Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)Los Angeles Lakers’ Josh Hart (5) grabs a pass ahead of Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)Los Angeles Lakers’ Brook Lopez (11) is called for the foul against Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love (0) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)Cleveland Cavaliers’ Jeff Green (32) drives to the basket against Los Angeles Lakers’ Julius Randle (30) and Josh Hart (5) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) drives to the basket against Los Angeles Lakers’ Josh Hart (5) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James, front left, and Los Angeles Lakers’ Josh Hart, right, battle for the ball in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyle Korver, left, knocks the ball loose from Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 121-112. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) falls into the seats in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball (2) looks to pass against Cleveland Cavaliers’ Dwyane Wade (9) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)NextShow Caption1 of 12Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball (2) looks to pass against Cleveland Cavaliers’ Dwyane Wade (9) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)ExpandCLEVELAND — If that was an audition, the Lakers might have at least earned themselves a call-back.Facing their top target in free agency, LeBron James, the Lakers built an early lead before succumbing to the championship-tested Cavaliers 121-112 on Thursday night.James led Cleveland with a triple-double – 24 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists – while Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball finished two rebounds shy of a triple-double of his own – 13 points 11 assists, eight rebounds.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lonzo Ball prepares for first game against LeBron James, but doesn’t plan to ask many questions last_img read more