Notebook: Cavaliers 108, Clippers 101

Posted Nov 6, 2012 2:37 AM

By Dan Arritt, for

THE FACTS: Better start for the Clippers, same finish. Once again, L.A. faced a less talented squad on its home floor, but for the second straight game couldn't match their opponent's youth and intensity down the stretch. The Cavaliers grabbed 18 offensive rebounds Monday night, forced 25 turnovers and shot 14-for-29 from the 3-point line in the 108-101 victory at Staples Center.

QUOTABLE: "The 3-ball hurt us tonight. It was really the offensive rebounds that were kicked out for a couple 3s, and then we turn it over and chase them in transition."

-- Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro

THE STAT: Cleveland rookie guard Dion Waiters, the fourth overall draft pick out of Syracuse last June, scored 28 points in his fourth NBA game, shooting 7-for-11 from 3-point range. The other rookie for the Cavaliers, center Tyler Zeller, had the best game of his young career, scoring 15 points off the bench and grabbing seven rebounds. He departed with just over five minutes remaining after getting elbowed in the face while trying for an offensive rebound.

TURNING POINT: Unlike Saturday night, when the Clippers fell behind 9-0 to the Warriors before eventually losing by four points, L.A. scored the game's first six points against Cleveland and led by as many as eight early in the first quarter. The Cavaliers climbed back behind 16 first-quarter points from point guard Kyrie Irving, and stretched the advantage to as many as 13 in the third quarter. The Clippers finally mounted a run and tied the score, 94-94, on a 3-point basket by Jamal Crawford with 4:28 left in the game, but Waiters answered with back-to-back 3-pointers and the Cavaliers maintained their lead the rest of the way.

HOT: Cleveland center Anderson Varejao came into the game leading the league in rebounding at 15 a game. He maintained that pace with 15 more rebounds against the Clippers, including five on the offensive end. He also contributed 15 points on 7-for-10 shooting, including two open jump shots in the final three minutes that helped spoil the comeback for L.A.

NOT: Clippers reserve forward Lamar Odom may have finally put himself in Del Negro's doghouse. Odom, who showed up to training camp out of shape after the Clippers acquired him in the offseason, played just over three minutes in the first quarter. He twice turned the ball over in that span, missed a layup and committed two personal fouls. He quickly went back to the bench where he remained the rest of the game.

GOOD MOVE: Cleveland reserve swingman C.J. Miles was on the verge of falling out of the rotation after shooting 4-for-22 to start the season and playing lackluster defense during Saturday night's three-point loss to the Bucks. Cleveland coach Byron Scott gave him another shot and he took advantage, scoring 10 points off the bench on a 4-for-7 shooting. He sank two 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter to help the Cavaliers maintain their lead.

BAD MOVE: Down by three points with 2 1/2 minutes remaining, Clippers forward Blake Griffin turned the ball over on back-to-back possessions. The Clippers were still within one possession when point guard Chris Paul drove into the open lane but passed on the layup and instead tried to hand the ball off to Griffin on the baseline. Griffin stepped out of bounds, however, for his third turnover in three straight trips down the floor. The Cavaliers then secured their 18th offensive rebound and Varejao made a jumper from the free-throw line to push the lead to back to five with 52 seconds remaining.

QUOTABLE II: "Everything has to go perfect down the stretch when you're chasing teams. We might have had a good possession, but they hit a couple tough shots and now you're running out of time."

-- Del Negro

NOTABLE: Cleveland has now won 11 of the last 12 meetings against the Clippers. ... Paul scored 20 points, the first time someone other than Crawford led the team in scoring this season. Crawford finished with 19 points off the bench. ... The Clippers were out-rebounded, 57-40, and are minus-33 on the glass this season.

UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Wednesday vs. San Antonio, Thursday @ Portland, Sunday vs. Atlanta. For the Cavaliers, Wednesday @ Golden State, Friday @ Phoenix, Sunday @ Oklahoma City.