Notebook: Clippers 105, Cavaliers 89



Posted Mar 2, 2013 12:10 AM

Brian Dulik, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Shooting guard Jamal Crawford scored a game-high 24 points as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-89. Power forward Blake Griffin collected 16 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles, while point guard Chris Paul added 11 points and a game-high 15 assists. Rookie shooting guard Dion Waiters scored 17 points for Cleveland, which played without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving for the third straight game. Irving has a hyperextended right knee and is listed as day-to-day. The Clippers won at Quicken Loans Arena for the first time since March 10, 2002.

QUOTABLE: "When I shot the ball tonight, I missed, which is why it's fun to play on a team that always tries to make the extra pass. Obviously, you would rather play that way than have everybody bickering out there, being ballhogs."
-- Clippers point guard Chris Paul

THE STAT: Crawford extended his NBA record by scoring his 37th career four-point play. It came early in the fourth quarter when he found himself on the right wing against Cavaliers center Marreese Speights. "Believe it or not, the hardest part of it is making the free throw," Crawford said of his fifth four-point play of the season. "I've missed one, maybe two of those, in my career because it's hard to get refocused after making the three." Crawford was Cleveland's first round pick in the 2000 NBA Draft, but was immediately traded to the Bulls for center Chris Mihm.

TURNING POINT: Los Angeles held a 64-59 lead with five minutes left in the third quarter when Griffin slammed home an alley-oop from Paul and was fouled hard by Cavaliers center Tyler Zeller. Griffin completed the three-point play after picking himself up off the basket support, then went coast-to-coast with a rebound on the Clippers' next possession for a driving dunk. "Blake is Blake, and everyone knows what to expect from him," Paul said, laughing. Griffin's back-to-back jams silenced the crowd and started a 35-17 Los Angeles run.

QUOTABLE II: "Coach (Byron Scott) hit it on the head. We came out sluggish tonight, and we usually get up for big games like this. That's a playoff team that is trying to make a run at the championship."
-- Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson

HOT: The Clippers scored 11 of their 43 field goals on dunks. Griffin led the way with five, center DeAndre Jordan had four, and third-string center Ryan Hollins had two in just four minutes of action. ... Paul did not commit a turnover in posting his 21st double-double of the season. ... Los Angeles had six players reach double figures in points. ... Cavaliers shooting guard C.J. Miles scored 16 points off the bench and is averaging 12.7 points over his last seven games. ... Thompson had 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for his 20th double-double of 2012-2013.

NOT: The Cavaliers are 4-10 this season when Irving does not play. ... Cleveland had its 10-game home winning streak against Los Angeles snapped. ... Cavaliers shooting guard Daniel "Boobie" Gibson saw his first action since Feb. 6 against Charlotte. ... Miles missed an uncontested tomahawk dunk. ... Cavaliers power forward Luke Walton stepped over the line while throwing an in-bounds pass for a turnover. ... The Clippers shot 60 percent from the foul line, going 12-for-20. ... Jordan missed all four of his free throws -- one of which was an airball -- and Griffin went 2-for-5.

QUOTABLE III: "With them being without their best player in Kyrie, we were trying to be aggressive and use our depth. We made it happen. These were good back-to-back road wins for us after (beating Indiana) last night."
-- Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro

GOOD MOVE: Crawford saw an opportunity to ignite the Clippers in the second half, which he did by scoring 13 points in 13 minutes. He shot 4-for-5 from the field, including 2-for-2 on 3-pointers, and 3-for-3 from the foul line. "Nobody cares who gets the credit on this team -- we honestly don't," Crawford said. "We're such creatures of habit. We're all just out there having fun and trying to win games."

BAD MOVE: Cavaliers small forward Alonzo Gee and Waiters each picked up two fouls in the first nine minutes, sending Cleveland's top defender and top active scorer to the bench. They both were ticketed for a third foul in the second period, setting a sour tone for the rest of the evening. Gee only wound up playing 19 minutes, recording two points with one rebound and four personals.

NOTABLE: Waiters was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for February. The No. 4 overall pick in the NBA Draft averaged 15.8 points with a .514 field goal percentage in 12 games, helping the Cavaliers to seven victories. ... Cleveland small forward Omri Casspi (appendectomy) remains out after being operated on Saturday in Orlando. No timetable has been set for his return. ... Clippers small forward Grant Hill was the only player on either team to dress, but not play. ... Los Angeles is off to its best start in franchise history at 43-18.

UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Sunday vs. Oklahoma City, Wednesday vs. Milwaukee, Thursday @ Denver. For the Cavaliers, Monday vs. New York, Wednesday vs. Utah, Friday vs. Memphis.