NBA: Blake’s triple-double lifts Lakers to unlikely win

Agence France-Presse
Steve Blake, in his second game back from an elbow injury, notched a triple-double on Wednesday as the Los Angeles Lakers beat Cleveland 119-108 to snap a seven-game losing skid.

BLAKE IS NO FLAKE. Lakers point guard Steve Blake registered a triple-double to lead LA past Cleveland. Photo by Michael Reynolds/EPA

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Steve Blake, in his second game back from an elbow injury, notched a triple-double on Wednesday as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 119-108 to snap a seven-game losing skid.

Ryan Kelly scored a career-high 26 points for the injury-ravaged Lakers, who were coming off a 109-99 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis on Tuesday.

That defeat marked Blake’s first game since he suffered a torn elbow ligament in December — and he suffered a ruptured eardrum early in the contest when he took an inadvertent blow to the ear.

But Blake put it all behind him on Wednesday, scoring 11 points with 15 assists and 10 rebounds to lead the short-handed Lakers to an unlikely victory.

The Lakers also got a solid effort from Jordan Farmar, playing for the first time since New Year’s Eve, who made five three-pointers in a 21-point effort. He also handed out five assists before departing the game with a sore calf.

Wesley Johnson contributed 20 points and nine rebounds for a Lakers team that had just eight players in uniform.

Superstar Kobe Bryant remains sidelined with a broken bone in his left knee. Big man Pau Gasol also missed the current three-game road trip as he nurses a groin injury.

Jodie Meeks sprained an ankle against the Timberwolves, while Jordan Hill was out after suffering a neck strain in Minneapolis.

Veteran point guard Steve Nash, who returned from a lengthy injury absence on Tuesday, was held out as a precaution.

The Lakers lost forward Nick Young to a twisted knee in the second quarter and had center Chris Kaman foul out with 8:29 left, leaving them with five available players.

With 3:32 to play, center Robert Sacre picked up his sixth foul but was allowed to stay in the game because the Lakers had no other players.

The Cavs received a technical foul shot when Sacre stayed in. Any further fouls by Sacre would have been charged to the team and Cleveland awarded a free throw, but he didn’t incur any more fouls the rest of the way.

“It was interesting to say the least,” said Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, who wasn’t aware of the rule that allowed Sacre to stay in the game until the officials explained it to him.

The Lakers used a long-range barrage to make up for their personnel deficits. Their 18 three-pointers were a club record in a non-overtime game. –