The Lakers’ 2013 Summer League is officially underway, as the team faced off against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV. A season ago the Laker Summer League team had a bad week, losing all their games in Vegas in what would become a trend – as you likely recall, they went on to lose all their preseason games and first two games of the regular season last year, too.
However, things were a little different this year. With the team in a state of flux and the Summer League roster full of players that likely won’t make the team, there was a chance to enjoy the game and see if there were any players that might be able to help out if the team does need to fill one final roster spot.
Let’s get to the action.
Things started encouraging enough for the Lakers, as they were able to maintain a lead over Cleveland for the majority of the first half. Even though they were facing NBA-caliber talent in Tyler Zeller and Dion Waiters, Los Angeles hung in there and controlled most of the half. Robert Sacre was a pleasant surprise for Los Angeles, hitting two midrange jumpers something that was out of his range a season ago.
Still, for the Lakers the most impressive player was Marcus Landry. A hard-nosed, tough bruiser of a player, Landry spent the better part of the first half leading the team in scoring. And ultimately finished the game as L.A.’s leading scorer with 14 points.
At the break of a low-scoring first half, Los Angeles led the Cavs 26-23.
Despite holding onto the lead for most of the first half, things began to slip away with about eight minutes left in the final period. For Cleveland, it was Tyler Zeller taking over, scoring 15 points and grabbing seven rebounds throughout the game, allowing the Cavs to get control of the game late and ultimately storm ahead. Los Angeles attempted to make one final push near the end, but the Cavs weren’t having it – holding on to defeat the Lakers 70-62.
The big turning point in the game was the fourth quarter, a period in which Cleveland outscored the Lakers 23-14, a nine point differential that helped lead to an eight-point Cleveland victory.
One bright spot for the Lakers was Michael Snaer, a rookie SG out of Florida State. Snaer scored 12 points, second most on the team behind Landry, on 4-9 shooting. While those aren’t numbers that are going to get him on the final roster anytime soon, it makes him a name to watch for the rest of the week.
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