Deng has 27, leads Cavs past woeful Lakers 120-118

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 15, 2014 at 1:03 am •  Published: January 15, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mike Brown had no interest in rehashing his past with the Los Angeles Lakers — not right now, not with his new team struggling.

He's much more intrigued by the possibilities in the Cleveland Cavaliers' future after a breakout game by their newest acquisition.

Luol Deng hit five 3-pointers while scoring 27 points, Anderson Varejao added 18 points and 18 rebounds, and the Cavaliers beat the spiraling Lakers 120-118 Tuesday night.

Dion Waiters scored 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers improved to 4-16 on the road. They also won for Brown in his return to Staples Center to face the Lakers, who fired him early last season before descending into the mess of a team that couldn't keep up with Cleveland down the stretch.

"I don't care where I am, I really want wins," Brown said. "If we win, I can take some satisfaction from it, but there's a lot of learning we can do from this game, too."

Jodie Meeks hit six 3-pointers while scoring a season-high 26 points in injury-plagued Los Angeles' fifth straight defeat. Nick Young scored 28 points, but the Lakers have lost 11 of 12 heading into a punishing seven-game road trip starting Wednesday in Phoenix.

"This is hard," said Young, who missed a potential tying 3-pointer with 10 seconds left. "We're losing, and we're losing players daily. It's frustrating, but we've still got to get up and play basketball. Nobody wants to get embarrassed. You've got to still take pride in that Lakers uniform."

Brown coached just 71 games with the Lakers, who hired him to succeed 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson in 2011 and then pulled the plug on his tenure five games into last season. Brown expressed no hard feelings or regret about his brief tenure with the Lakers, saying he's still on good terms with Kobe Bryant and other Los Angeles players.

Deng had five rebounds and four assists his first big game since joining Cleveland in a trade with Chicago a week ago. He was the centerpiece of the highest-scoring regulation performance of the season by the Cavs, who hit 13 of 17 3-pointers and outrebounded Los Angeles 48-35 to earn their second win in three stops on a five-game trip.