How good were the Los Angeles Lakers against Cleveland on Sunday night?

Good enough to make Coach Bill Fitch of the Cavaliers suggest they might be in the same category as the Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers, the teams with the best records in the NBA.

"They are the only team in the league with the paper potential of beating Philadelphia or Portland," Fitch said after the Lakers downed the Cavaliers, 128-117.

"They have quality, depth and shoot extremely well. Their only minor weakness is they're not too physical. You can't just slow down Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and get by any more.

"They have a lot of guys who can put the ball in the basket and with Charlie Scott helping Norm Nixon with the play-making, they get a lot of good shot opportunities."

The Lakers shot 65 per cent in the first half and 55 per cent for the entire game, hitting more than half their shots for the 20th time in the last 24 games.

All five starters also hit more than 50 per cent and scored in double figures as the Lakers went five games over 500 (34-) for the first time this season and moved one-half game ahead of Seattle for third place in the Pacific Division.

Their 17th victory in the last 22 games placed the Lakers second in the six-team scramble for four extra Western Conference playoff slots.