Rapid Reaction: Cavaliers 88, Clippers 82
December, 7, 2013
By Arash Markazi | ESPNLosAngeles.com
CLEVELAND -- At some point during the Los Angeles Clippers’ seven-game, two-week road trip they might play like they’re one of the better teams in the West and overpower one of the lesser teams in the East.
Maybe, but it certainly wasn’t on Saturday, as the Clippers lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers 88-82, dropping the second of three games on their road trip to date and losing their third straight game against an Eastern Conference opponent.
Much like their loss against the Atlanta Hawks a couple of days ago, the Clippers seemed completely uninterested in playing a below-.500 team in the East -- and it showed. They briefly took a two-point lead in the first half but the Cavaliers controlled the action for much of the night.
How it happened: It happened the same way it always happens for the Clippers: breakdowns on defense, inconsistency on offense and a general apathy to playing the game. The Clippers might not be a championship contender but they’re certainly better than the Cavaliers, although you wouldn’t know that by watching them play on Saturday.
What it means: The Clippers are now 1-2 around the midway point of their seven-game road trip and have lost three straight games against the Eastern Conference. The Clippers now have the third worst record against the East of Western Conference teams and are currently a fifth seed at the quarter point of the season and just a half game up on the seventh seed.
Hits: Chris Paul had 13 points, 15 assists and 7 rebounds, while DeAndre Jordan registered 12 points and 13 rebounds. They were the only two starters who played well for much of the game.
Misses: Blake Griffin had his worst game of the season with the quietest 10 points and 10 rebounds you’ll see from him this season. He had five points and four rebounds in the first quarter and was a non-factor the rest of the way. It was a frustrating night for Griffin on both sides of the ball as he got into a confrontation with Anderson Varejao, who had 17 rebounds and six points on the night.
Stat of the game: The Clippers not only shot 32.2 percent from the field (28-for-87) but hit only 20 percent from 3-point range (7-for-35). It was their worst shooting performance of the season.
Up next: The Clippers are off on Sunday before playing the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday. It’s the first meeting of the season between the Clippers and 76ers. The Clippers swept the season series against Philadelphia last season.