Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press
LeBron James stays out with a strained groin, but Cleveland Cavaliers got revenge on his new team with a 1
Collin Sexton scored 17 and Tristan Thompson added 15 points and 14 rebounds when Cavs beat their 12-game losing knit with their first win since December 18. Of course, Cleveland still has the worst record in the NBA at. 9-35 wins the only team in the league without double digits.
The Lakers are now only 3-7 without James, falling to 23-21 despite 29 points and nine rebounds from Kyle Kuzma. Lonzo Ball had 13 points, eight rebounds and eight help the disappointing home loss.
Lakers struggles without LeBron Paint Bleak Picture
James has now missed 10 games and could miss a few more. His groin is reportedly "progressive", but he will not be evaluated again until January 16, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.
We have seen enough to know that this Lakers team is not very good without him.  Los Angeles had lost six of its last nine games, but this could have been the worst performance of the season against the probably the worst team in the NBA.
The crime was particularly embarrassing for a historical bad defense:
Joe Vardon @ joevardon
Statistically, Cavs has the worst defense of all time. Tonight they have kept the Lakers for 74 points with 7:39 back
Boogie Bousins @ bansky
Cavs has the worst record in the league. The worst road record. Hace lost 12 straight. And they have the worst defensive rating in the league (with 3.5 whole fox points) far.
The Lakers will probably not hit 90 on them.
That's how coaches are fired
This probably summed up the best:
There were some good individual performances from Kuzma and Brandon Ingram (22 points) while Ball filled the treasury. But they were still played by Cleveland, each finishing at least minus-13 on the pitch.
The young trio also did not save an offense that was miserable in almost all measurements. The team shot only 39.6 percent from the pitch, including the 7-of-34 from three-point range. Going 16-of-27 (59.3 percent) from the free throw line at home is also cringe-worthy.
Outside Kuzma, 41 points in a win over Detroit Pistons and Ingram take over Dallas Mavericks, these offensive battles are basically what we expected in the past couple of weeks.
Defensive action has also not been there with the players who lighten and uninterested at times and failed to put much resistance down the line:
Bleacher Report NBA @ BR_NBA
Cavs take it to the Lakers right now 😬 https://t.co/rm0hgCfCAY  This route without James has not left many positive takeaways.
While the four-hour MVP returning to court will mask some of these deficiencies, the bad play about him will likely hold this team back.
Throughout His time in Cleveland we saw that James was to carry the team in the playoffs, with a win or a loss depending on an incredible performance from him. There was hope that things would be different with the Lakers thanks to the young core and the experienced veterans on the roster, but it seems to be more of the same.
There is still time for these players to improve, but LeBron is in trouble based on these latest performances.
The Cavaliers will continue their road trip Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers will only have one day off before hosting the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.