Lonzo Ball, the Lakers rookie playing in his first game against James, finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Brandon Ingram paced the Lakers with 26 points.
The Cavs scored 100 points for the 22nd consecutive game. James dunked with 2:20 left and nailed a 6-footer with 1:38 remaining for a 117-108 lead.
Lakers rookie Josh Hart scored a career-high 11 in his first pro start. Hart played in place of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who was not with the team.
J.R. Smith passed Chauncey Billups (1,830 3-pointers) for 11th in NBA history in 3s. Smith finished with eight points -- the only Cleveland starter not to score in double figures. Dwyane Wade and Kyle Korver scored 10 points apiece off the Cavs' bench.
Love scored 13 points in the third quarter, pushing the Cavs to a 94-86 advantage.
The Cavs trailed by as many as nine in the second quarter but led at halftime, 63-60. They nailed 10 3s in the first half for a franchise-record 18 games with at least 10 3-pointers.
Brook Lopez had a rough stretch in the quarter, beginning when he merely moved out of the way instead of contesting a James dunk with 5:39 left. Lopez then grazed the front of the net on consecutive free throws, and was stuffed by the rim on his own dunk attempt.
The Lakers led 26-24 at the end of one. James drive and short jumper at the buzzer pulled the Cavs closer.
NOTES: Lakers G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was not with the team due to an unspecified personal reason. This was the last of a four-game road trip for Los Angeles. ... The Cavs, who've won 16 of 17, have a game left on this four-game homestand. They're 3-0. ... Cavs C Tristan Thompson (left calf soreness) was a late scratch after experiencing trouble trying to warm up. He's missed 20 of the last 21 games after suffering a calf injury Nov. 1. Coach Tyronn Lue had said before Thompson was scratched that he would only play in the first half against the Lakers and would be re-evaluated before the game Saturday against the Utah Jazz. Thompson only returned to game action Tuesday, playing six minutes against the Hawks. ... Cavs G Dwyane Wade returned after missing Tuesday's game with left knee soreness. ... Lakers F Corey Brewer appeared in his 304th consecutive game Thursday, the NBA's longest active streak. The previous active consecutive games streak bearer was Thompson, whose 447-game streak ended in April. ... LeBron James' production company, SpringHill Entertainment, fired director Morgan Spurlock from a docuseries chronicling James' opening of a public school in Akron because of Spurlock's admission to past sexual misconduct.