LeBron scores 16 in fourth, rested Cavs beat Lakers 119-108

Cleveland Cavaliers’ Iman Shumpert left is fouled by Los Angeles Lakers’ Louis Williams in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday Dec. 17 2016 in Cleveland

LeBron scores 16 in fourth, rested Cavs beat Lakers 119-108

Elsewhere, the Cleveland Cavaliers improved to 19-6 on the season after a 119-108 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Taken out of context, "the league is ... getting softer" sounds a lot like the insults and complaints heaved at the Cavs over the past week for resting their stars, no?For as exhausted of a story as that is (pun intended), it will never quite go away when it comes to this team, this season.

James, who was late getting onto the floor before the game, scored 26 points and needs two more to pass Moses Malone for eighth place on the career scoring list.

The Lakers, who snapped an eight game losing streak on Friday at Philadelphia, led by as many as eight late in the first quarter and maintained the lead into the second period. "After that game, how I felt, knowing the importance of what was coming up in the season, I think it was a great group decision in terms of the rest that was needed", Irving said.

LeBron James' rested legs were strong enough in the fourth quarter to carry the Cleveland Cavaliers over the pesky Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday. "I'm able to push through anything and my mind commands my body at the same time, it's still about being smart."Though Irving tried to convince Lue to let him play Wednesday in Memphis, rather than sit for a consecutive night, he told reporters Saturday that the week off "was warranted".

"There will probably come another time where he's going to need a little rest also", Lue said. "Right now, he's feeling good and that's the biggest thing for me".

James' 3-pointer with 2:32 left extended the Cavs' lead to 113-105 and finally seemed to put away the Lakers.

It was a one-sided affair at the Oracle Arena as the Golden State Warriors hammered the Portland Trail Blazers 135-90. He scored 15 in Friday's win.

James, Irving and Love combined for 74 points, 30 rebounds and 25 assists.

CLEVELAND-Cavaliers center Chris Andersen has torn a ligament in his right knee and will require season-ending surgery.

With D'Angelo Russell out of the lineup, rookie Brandon Ingram started at point guard, finishing with nine points, 10 rebounds and a career-high nine assists.

Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook was in familiar territory, notching the 50th triple-double of his career - and 13th this season - in the Thunder's 114-101 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Irving played 38 minutes and registered 12 assists for the second time this season.

Young scored a season-high 32 points and Julius Randle had 16 points and seven assists for the Lakers.

Meanwhile, there were wins for the Indiana Pacers, Charlotte Hornets and the Denver Nuggets.

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