The Cleveland Cavaliers aim to continue their sterling play at home on Tuesday against former face of the franchise LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the streaking Los Angeles Lakers.
The Cavaliers are returning home after dropping a 92-81 decision to the New York Knicks on Sunday. Cleveland fell to 5-8 on the road this season and looks vastly different than the team that has compiled a 10-1 record at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
"On the road, I feel like we have been playing a little slower than at home. We're energetic at home. We get that energy from the crowd, and it fuels us," Evan Mobley said, per Cleveland.com. "We just have to transfer that pace and style of play over. We have to bring that energy ourselves. Players. Coaches. Everybody. On the court. On the bench. Just create our own energy because the crowd is definitely not going to do that for us."
Donovan Mitchell made himself at home on Sunday because, well, he was home. The New York native scored a team-high 23 points in a losing effort against the Knicks.
"We just didn't make shots. It's just one of those nights," Mitchell said. "... It can't always be sunshine and rainbows. This isn't who we are. We know we can play better and we will."
The Cavaliers play decidedly better at home. They are averaging 115.6 points on 49.3 percent shooting from the floor and 39.9 percent from 3-point range, as opposed to 107.7, 46.0, 35.8, respectively, on the road.
Now, James used to call Cleveland his home for many years. Well, he is from Akron, but you get the point.
Anyway, James and a red-hot Davis have lit a fire under the Lakers. Los Angeles has made significant progress in turning around a dismal start to the season by winning eight of its last 10.
Davis followed up a 44-point, 10-rebound performance in the Lakers' 133-129 victory in Milwaukee on Friday with a 55-point, 17-board effort two nights later in a 130-119 triumph against Washington.
"Our team is locked in right now. Very focused on both sides of the ball," said Davis, who is averaging a robust 35.3 points in his last nine games. "Overall, we're just trying to make up ground."
Los Angeles is doing that on the road, too. The Lakers have won four in a row away from home, include the first two to start this six-game trek.
"We never tipped over the glass when things weren't going well," James said. "We just continued to work. Continued to get better. Understood that we're a new team being put together. New coaching staff, new system. We had to figure out some things. We haven't done anything. We want to continue to work."
James scored 27 points in the Lakers' 114-110 setback to the Cavaliers on Nov. 6. The loss was his second in 19 all-time meetings against Cleveland, with the other coming while he played with the Miami Heat on March 29, 2011.
--Field Level Media