From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA: The Los Angeles Lakers ended their six-game losing streak by beating a 9-29Cleveland Cavaliers team that played Luke Walton for 24 minutes at Staples Center on Sunday. As the late Chris Farley playing the motivational speaker Matt Foley would say, “Whoop-de-freaking-doo!” The Lakers could use a continued dose of Farley/Foley motivation because the hole they’ve dug for themselves should be seen just as daunting after beating the Cavs as it did before the teams played Sunday.The reality of their situation is that even with the victory, things aren’t so rosy. The Lakers are five games under .500, at 16-21. They’re in 11th place in the Western Conference and four games behind the No. 8-seeded Portland Trail Blazers. They’re 5-12 on the road with 10 of their next 15 games coming away from Staples Center against the likes of Memphis, Brooklyn and Miami. And despite holding Cleveland to 93 points on 41.1 percent shooting, that was against the second-worst offense in the league, so it doesn’t magically erase the fact that eight of the Lakers’ past 10 opponents coming into Sunday crossed the 100-point threshold against them.
From Eric Pincus, LA Times: Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said the Lakers are considering applying for a disabled player exception for Jordan Hill. Hill is expected to have surgery to fix a possible labral tear and remove “loose bodies” from the joint. Recovery is expected to take six months and Hill would miss the remainder of the season. The Lakers are eligible to apply for the exception, which would give the team an additional $1.78 million in spending power. “We’ll look into it,” said Kupchak. “We have until Tuesday.” A disabled player exception can be used to sign a free agent for up to one season. It can also be used to acquire a player (making up to $1.88 million) via trade, as long as that player will be a free agent this summer. The deadline for a team to apply for a disabled player exception is Jan. 15. The injured player must be considered sidelined until at least June 15.
From Mark Whicker, OC Register: At last, garbage time meant what it is supposed to mean, not all 48 Lakers minutes. And, at last, Earl Clark is becoming the partial cause of a victory, not the victory cigar. Clark is 6-foot-10, and his 25th birthday is Thursday, when the Lakers play Miami. In Pau Gasol’s absence, he has had the kind of three-game screen test that has always been the L.A. plotline. Against a lame (in both senses) Cleveland team that is stuck on a Western trip without Anderson Varejao, Clark produced 13 points, nine rebounds and four assists. The Lakers rumbled past the Cavaliers, 113-93, broke a six-game losing streak and now lead the L.A. Kings, 1-0, in 2013 victories. “This isn’t news to us,” said Metta World Peace, in a mischievous mood. “He could average 15 or more. We see this every day.
From Kelly Dwyer, Yahoo Sports: Prior to the team’s game against Cleveland, Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni suggested that the Lakers’ season started over on Sunday, even after a 15-21 start to a (pre?) season that some thought would end in the Lakers losing all of 21 contests over an 82-game turn. Sunday was the 2012-13 debut, D’Antoni declared, which was probably just fine for a Laker team setting up to take on a 9-29Cleveland Cavaliers team in Los Angeles. The Lakers romped, if not entirely predictably (the team’s 36-game preseason has been that rough), in a 113-93 victory. It was a hollow motivational ploy to most outsiders. Paired with a sterling defensive effort against a Cavaliers team that ranks amongst the five worst offensive teams in the NBA. An insignificant win amongst the 30 or so in 46 games that the Lakers will probably need just to make it back to this year’s postseason bracket. A game that answered absolutely no questions, because the same ailments that the Lakers face in mid-January were the ones we assumed of them after trading for Dwight Howard in early August. What else do you want D’Antoni to do, though?
From Ramneet Singh, Lakers Nation: The Los Angeles Lakers finally won their first game in 2013 Sunday night, snapping a disappointing six-game losing streak.The Lakers claimed the victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and even though the Cavs aren’t an upper echelon team, the Lakers desperately needed a win. After the game, Kobe Bryant spoke to the media and he talked about what the Lakers need to do in order to make the next step. Arash Markazi tweeted that Bryant wants the Lakers players to put their egos aside and work for the betterment of the team.