The 101 points Irving, James and Love combined for marks a Cavaliers franchise record for a trio.
The Lakers took the loss despite playing about as well as could be expected. They shot 52.9 percent from the field and turned the ball over a season-low six times.
This was a game Cleveland had to have — not necessarily for standings sake, although their lead over the Celtics for first place in the East certainly isn’t insurmountable; more so to save face, considering the unpopular decision to rest their three stars in Saturday night’s nationally-televised game against the Clippers.
Damian Lillard dropped a season-high 49 points as he carried the Trail Blazers to a 115-104 win at Miami. He was remarkably efficient, making 14 of 21 shots, including 9 of 12 from 3-point range.
Lillard, an All-Star Game snub, has been one of the best players in the NBA since the break. His 29.8 points per game since then are surpassed only by Russell Westbrook’s 34.5, per CBS Sports. Portland (32-37) is 9-4 during that span.
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Lillard on Sunday also became the first player in Blazers history to make 1,000 3-pointers.
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This is on the 30 NBA teams, and all their openings over the years, that kept passing him over. After all the interviews, all the years on the bench, all the hands-on-tutoring, all the osmosis of working next to four head coaches on five franchises, all the times running the show in summer league, the mountain of off-season and in-season work.
All the dues he paid. All the dues some coaches are constantly told have to be paid, right before someone with less experience, or no experience, or only college experience, bogarts the line ahead of you.