Brand, Maggette Help Clippers Pay Back Cavs
L.A. Clippers 102, Cleveland 90
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 3 (Ticker) -- The last time they faced the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Los Angeles Clippers lost in overtime. Elton Brand and Corey Maggette did not allow it to get that far this time.
Brand scored 34 points and Maggette added 24 as the Clippers got their revenge with a 102-90 victory over the Cavaliers, who never led in the rematch.
"It was definitely a revenge game," Brand said. "We thought we gave one away to them earlier this week at Cleveland. It was still an OK road trip because we split, but we should have been 2-0. That game we should have won. It hurt and this was definitely a revenge game."
"We needed this game," Maggette said. "It is a statement for us. It is a big win for us. Cleveland is a good team and has the same record as us."
Cleveland, which shot just 35 percent (31-of-89) from the field, rallied in the final period behind LeBron James, who scored 30 points despite 8-of-25 shooting, and fellow All-Star Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who finished with 19.
"The scoring wasn't the problem," Ilgauskas said. "We couldn't get the stops when we needed them. We closed the gap to eight points but they came down and scored three times in a row. It is almost impossible on the road to win a game when you give up more than 100 points."
Ilgauskas connected on a three-point play and a turnaround hook on consecutive possessions to cut the deficit to 88-80 with 5:15 to go.
"If you look at it down the stretch we still had opportunities to win," James said. "We were down eight points with three minutes to play. We couldn't get defensive stops and we couldn't make any big buckets. We don't want to have to focus on offense and guys not producing on offense to help us win."
However, the Clippers responded with two jumpers from Brand and a couple of key baskets later in the period from Chris Kaman, who collected 12 points and a career-high 19 rebounds.
"Obviously we don't want to lose on our home court," Kaman said. "That's a big thing for us. We want to play hard and be sure we get the win. We opened a big lead right at the start and we were able to hold on to most of it down the stretch."
"The player of the night was Kaman," Maggette said. "Those rebounds were all big plays we needed. I'm not saying he's going to get 19-20 rebounds every game. But just being aggressive the way he was tonight; grabbing the ball with two hands is what we need."
Both James and Maggette identified the differences between Tuesday's win and Saturday's defeat.
"We got defensive stops in overtime and down the stretch and tonight we didn't get stops down the stretch," James said.
"The big thing tonight was making them take tough shots and take a lot of shots," Maggette said. "It takes a great team effort to slow James down and we got that tonight. We rebounded well tonight and had fewer turnovers. That was the difference from three nights ago and tonight."