Cavs beat LA in 1st LeBron-Lonzo NBA clash

Dec 15, 2017 - 6:38 AM Lonzo Ball has had his first up-close look at the biggest baller of them all.

LeBron James recorded his 59th career triple-double in front of Ball and his brothers on Thursday night as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 121-112 - their 16th NBA win in 17 games.

James finished with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists to move into a tie with Larry Bird for sixth place on the career triple-doubles list.

James also put the Lakers away in the final minutes with a dunk and short runner.

For the Lakers' Ball, his first on-court encounter with James was eye-opening.

"Watching him doesn't do him justice," Ball said.

"He has that size, that speed. I'd say he's the best player in the world right now."

James met the Lakers' highly touted rookie, who had Ball had 13 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, on the floor following the game.

As cameras recorded the moment, James and Ball covered their mouths so the world wouldn't know what they were saying.

James said he was humbled to learn the former UCLA star patterned his game after him.

"It's always team," James said when asked what he admired most about the 20-year-old.

"He passes the ball. Pushes the ball up the floor. (He's) someone you want to play with ..."

Kevin Love scored 13 in the third quarter, when the Cavs opened an 11-point lead on the way to their 10th straight home win, and finished with 28 points.

Brandon Ingram top-scored for the Lakers with 26 points.

In the day's other games, New York held on to beat Brooklyn 111-104 after losing star forward Kristaps Porzingis to a sore left knee early in the second half.

Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns had 30 points and 14 assists in his league-leading 23rd double-double as the Timberwolves cruised past Sacramento to finish 119-56.

Detroit's Andre Drummond had 12 points, 19 rebounds and a career-high nine assists and the Pistons snapped a seven-game slide with a 105-91 victory over NBA-worst Atlanta.

Kevin Durant had 36 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists and the short-handed Golden State Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks 112-97 for their eighth straight win.

Source: AAP