<
>

The McTen: Cleveland Rocked

1/12/2011

Here are your 10 additional things to take away from the Lakers' 112-57 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday ...

1

Perhaps he did it because he really felt his team could use some extra motivation to avoid losing to a sub-.500 team at home the way it did against Indiana, Milwaukee and Memphis earlier on in the season.

Or perhaps he did it just because as head coach, you're supposed to do something to motivate your players regardless if your team is the back-to-back NBA champion and your opponent is coming into the game having lost 20 of 21 games and 10 straight.

So Phil Jackson took the cap off his dry erase marker and did a bit of coaching.

"On the board this morning I put on what our record is against them the last three years -- 1-5," Jackson said.

Never mind that the Lakers are actually 2-4 against the Cavs over the past three seasons; something clicked for the Lakers as they came out energized from the opening tip and executed possession after possession, quarter after quarter, until the final buzzer sounded and they could admire their work on the scoreboard: 112-57.

The 57 points the Lakers held the Cavaliers to was a franchise record for fewest points allowed since the shot-clock era began in 1954-55. The 55-point margin of victory was the third-largest in team history and dwarfed those losses they had to Cleveland in the past three seasons, as those four came by a combined 28 points.

A game after holding New York under 90 points and under 40 percent shooting from the field, the Lakers' revamped defense held Cleveland under 60 points and under 30 percent shooting (23-of-77 -- 29.9 percent).

"This is what hard work does," Kobe Bryant said. "We’ve really been focused on the defensive end and we’ve been getting better game by game."

2

A final margin of victory of this proportion is going to reverberate on both sides. For the most part, the Lakers shrugged it off as the result of facing an undermanned team, considering the injuries to Anderson Varejao, Anthony Parker and Daniel Gibson, but there was some pride in the distinctiveness of it at least.

"I think that's maybe 10,000 games that the Lakers have had or something, so it says something," Jackson said.

Lamar Odom had to go back to his childhood to remember being part of such a drubbing.

"Not in the NBA," Odom said. "In AAU when me and Ron [Artest] were on the same team, we used to beat dudes by 40 and 50, but not since then."

On the flip side, the loss was devastating for some of the Cavaliers.

"As soon as we saw the 'Lakers' on their jerseys, man, I don't know ... ," Antawn Jamison said. "It's definitely, by far one of the most embarrassing moments that I've been a part of as far as the game of basketball."

Remember, Jamison is a 13-year veteran who was witness to the mess in Washington last season.

"It can't get any worse than this," Jamison said. "I don't know how much of this I can take, but this by far is rock bottom."

Cavs guard Mo Williams, who shot 1-for-9 from the field, expressed his dismay via Twitter.

"This s--- is embarrassing. I feel like I can't even show my face in Cleve," Williams wrote about an hour after the game.

3

Williams' tweet wasn't the most newsworthy of the night by a long shot. Some time during the second half of the game, LeBron James tweeted, "Crazy. Karma is a b****.. Gets you every time. Its not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!" There is no way to know for sure the tweet was in reference to the Lakers game; however, the Miami Heat were in town in Los Angeles preparing to play the Clippers on Wednesday.

Speaking of karma, the Cavs just so happen to be the owners of the largest margin of victory in NBA history, beating the Heat by 68, 148-80, on Dec. 19, 1991.

Knowing the cyclical nature of the league, the Lakers thought the outcome was just something that any team could face.

"The same situation with people being out can happen to any team, so we have to go out and handle our business the same way," said Andrew Bynum.

4

Shannon Brown (13 points) hit his third buzzer-beater of the season to end the third quarter, stroking a 42-foot jumper from just inside half court to put the Lakers up 92-41 heading into the fourth.

The first one he hit was from even farther, nearly 60 feet, against the Clippers and he hit a difficult 3-pointer from the corner as time expired in the third quarter of Sunday's game against the Knicks.

"Those were tough shots, but I just got great looks both times, even from half court," Brown said.

Said Bynum: "He doesn't miss those. What's crazy is his technique. He walked into it and shot it like a normal shot."

5

The Lakers play the second night of a back-to-back Wednesday on the road against Golden State, so the fact that Derek Fisher and his 36-year-old body and Bryant and his balky knee both played less than 25 minutes and were able to sit out the fourth quarter was welcome.

"We’re not the youngest group in the league and we have guys that have been in the league for a long time so it’s important to get rest whenever you can," Bryant said.

The only starter to play in the final period was Pau Gasol, who did not seem thrilled to have his night extended while his teammates got the early rest.

"That’s Phil’s decision," Gasol said. "Obviously I don’t make those kind of calls. But I just tried to be out there and facilitate things."

6

Cavs coach Byron Scott was in the final season of his 14-year NBA career in 1996-97 when Bryant was a rookie. Bryant said Scott was "like an older brother" on Tuesday and said it has been tough to watch Scott's team struggle. Scott remembered his time with Bryant fondly.

"He used to always ask about how it was in the '80s to play and I used to always tell him, ‘Man, it was unbelievable, you would have loved it,’ because of the type of player he is," Scott said. "I said, ‘The only problem is I probably would have been coming off the bench because you would have been the starter.’ We had great conversations and the one I remember the most was when we were sitting there and I asked him, ‘What do you want to accomplish in this league?’ He said, ‘I want to be the best player in this league.’ I looked him right in the eyes and said, ‘You will be. Keep working the way you work and you will be the best player in the league.’ I told NBA Entertainment, I said, ‘Mark my words, this kid will be the best player in the league.’

7

Odom has been enjoying an All-Star-type season and seeing as this is his 12th year in the NBA and he never has played in the All-Star Game, with it coming to L.A. there has been a lot of talk about his improved play.

Jackson, who said he "went to bat" to convince Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss to re-sign Odom two seasons ago when he became a free agent, offered what he thinks has been the key to Odom's success.

"Lamar’s marriage has really helped his life along," he said.

8

Looking ahead to Wednesday, the Lakers have already defeated the Warriors twice this season by an average of 21 points, but both of those games were at home. It could be different on the road.

"We throw out all the records when we go into Golden State," Jackson said. "It’s just one of those games in which you know it’s going to be a wild and crazy game and we’ve had these incredible matches up there over the years that have been difficult for us. We’ve run a little string against Golden State right now, but still those games have been very competitive."

9

Quote of the night: "None. You forget who you’re talking to." -- Bryant when asked if he had any sympathy for the Cavaliers players during such a lopsided win.

10

Stats of the night: Cleveland shot 1-for-14 on 3-pointers while Los Angeles shot 10-for-20. ... It was the third time in franchise history the Lakers won by 50 or more points. ... It was the first time the Lakers led by 50 in a game since Jan. 9, 2004, against Atlanta when their lead swelled to 53 before finishing the game 113-67. ... It was the first time league-wide since Nov. 8, 2001 that a team was leading by 50 or more after three quarters (Dallas).

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.