15 Jan 2013

Lakers have a win

4:52 am on 15 January 2013

The Los Angeles Lakers celebrated Dwight Howard's return from injury with a 113-93 NBA victory over Cleveland that ended their worst losing streak in six years.

Howard, who was sidelined for three games with a right shoulder injury, scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Lakers ended a six-game slide.

The Lakers hadn't lost six in a row since a seven-game losing streak in 2007.

Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 23 points and six assists, and played a key role in limiting prolific Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving, who scored 15 points with seven assists.

Bryant says improved defence overall was key for a Lakers team that had surrendered more than 100 points in each of their past six games.

Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni says the return of Howard was part of the improvement on the defensive end, along with the solid play of Earl Clark, who was making his second start as Pau Gasol remained sidelined because of a concussion.

The Lakers are third in the Pacific Conference with a 16 and 21 record.