Lakers end skid against Cavs


Associated Press

LOS ANGELES

Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds in his return from a three-game injury absence, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their six-game losing streak with a 113-93 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.

Kobe Bryant scored 23 points for the Lakers, who finally earned their first victory of 2013 while ending their longest skid since February 2007. Howard went 9 for 11 despite his injured shoulder while leading Los Angeles to a comfortable victory over the lowly Cavaliers, who beat the Lakers last month.

Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters scored 15 points apiece for Cleveland, which has lost seven of nine. Alonzo Gee added 14 points for the Cavaliers, who fell behind by 19 points in the first quarter of their second stop on a five-game West Coast road trip.

Cleveland (9-30) is barely ahead of Washington (6-28) for the NBA’s worst record.

Steve Nash had 10 points and nine assists for the Lakers, whose skid has been severe enough to cause fans to worry about this star-packed roster’s playoff chances even in mid-January. After Oklahoma City ran the Lakers out of Staples Center on Friday night in a 116-101 victory, a downbeat coach Mike D’Antoni told his players that “our season starts Sunday.”

Opening day went well for the Lakers, but much bigger challenges loom — including the Miami Heat’s visit on Thursday.

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