Shorthanded Cavs Can't Rally Past Clippers in L.A.

Jordan's Big Night, Cavs Injuries Help Snap Five-Game Road Win Streak
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Wrap-Up -- The Cavaliers were in an uphill fight all night on Friday in L.A. – struggling to overcome a slow start, a pair of injuries and Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.

All three factors took their toll and the Wine & Gold were unable to run their road win streak to six – dropping the 116-102 decision at STAPLES Center.

After jumping out to an early lead in their first game of the trip on Wednesday in Denver, the Cavaliers were never able to find solid footing in Tinseltown – falling behind by double-digits less than eight minutes into the affair and clawing to get over the hump the rest of the way. They cut L.A.’s 19-point lead to just four late in the third period, but that was as good as it’d get for Cleveland on Friday night.

Rodney Hood was limited to just seven minutes of action after suffering from a lower back strain and Cedi Osman left the game midway through the third period with a left hip strain and didn’t return.

The third factor – DeAndre Jordan – kept Cleveland on the ropes all night as L.A.’s All-Star big man piled up 20 points and 23 rebounds, part and parcel of the Clippers holding decisive edges in total rebounds (52-40), second-chance scoring (25-8) and points in the paint (58-42).

Aside from the injured Hood, Cleveland got solid performances from their starters and an exceptional effort from Jordan Clarkson off the bench.

LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 25 points, going 11-for-20 from the floor and 3-of-7 from deep – adding 10 boards, a team-high six assists, three blocked shots and a pair of steals.

But James only attempted two free throws on the night, part of a 30-18 disparity in attempts. (Although the Cavs did employ the ‘Hack-a-Jordan’ strategy late in the fourth – with the Clips big man taking 16 of L.A.’s 30 tries.)

Jordan Clarkson, in his return to Los Angeles – where he spent his first four years with the Lakers – followed up with 21 points in 25 minutes of work, going 6-of-12 from the floor, including 4-of-5 from long-distance and 5-of-5 from the stripe.

Larry Nance Jr., who tangled with Jordan in the post all night, notched his third straight double-double – netting 16 points and a team-high 12 boards, adding a steal and a block in the loss.

Larry Nance Jr


Nance Jr. scores in double-figures for a career-best sixth straight game.

JR Smith was solid all night – finishing with 15 points on 6-for-15 shooting to go with five assists, three boards and a team-high three steals.

George Hill completed the Cavaliers in double-figures, chipping in with 10 points – going 3-of-5 from the field to go with five assists, three boards, a steal and a block.

All five Clippers starters – plus Montrezl Harrell – scored in double-figures for Doc Rivers’ squad, with Tobias Harris leading the way with 23 points, canning five triples on the night and finishing 8-of-17 from the floor overall.

Turning Point -- The Cavaliers got off to a sluggish start on Friday night, tallying just 17 points and trailing by 18 points after the first period. At intermission, they were down two touchdowns.

With four minutes to play in the third quarter, however, the Wine & Gold – led by LeBron and Clarkson – put together a blistering 12-0 run that saw Cleveland cut the Clippers’ 16-point edge to just four, 81-77, with 1:39 to play in the period.

But the Clippers seized momentum back before the end of the quarter – scoring the final four points to stave off the Cavs’ rally. And when Montrezl Harrell scored on a 14-footer to start the fourth, Tyronn Lue’s shorthanded squad once again found itself down double-digits.

Cleveland would get no closer than nine the rest of the way.

By the Numbers17.0, .629, 13.3 … Larry Nance Jr.’s scoring average, field goal percentage and rebounding average over his last three outings.

QuotableLarry Nance Jr., on Friday night’s loss in L.A. …

”Obviously, different teams present different threats, but we have to hammer out this offensive rebounding and defense, really. We missed some shots tonight that normally we make, so we’re not worried about that, that will go.”

Up Next -- The Wine & Gold’s road trip moves on without the Cavaliers having to pack their suitcases for the next one – taking on the Lakers on Sunday night at STAPLES Center. From there, the Wine & Gold head to Phoenix for a Tuesday night meeting with the Suns, followed by a visit to Portland where they’ll take on Damien Lillard and the Blazers on Thursday. Cleveland closes out the six-game journey with an Eastern Conference matchup – squaring off against the Bulls on St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago.

Calls of the Game

#CavsClippers Postgame: Larry Nance Jr. - March 9, 2018

Cavaliers center Larry Nance Jr. spoke with the media following Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at STAPLES Center.

Cavs at Clippers - March 9, 2018

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#CavsClippers Postgame: Larry Nance Jr. - March 9, 2018

Cavaliers center Larry Nance Jr. spoke with the media following Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at STAPLES Center.
Mar 10, 2018  |  02:24

#CavsClippers Postgame: Coach Lue - March 9, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at STAPLES Center.
Mar 10, 2018  |  02:35

#CavsClippers Postgame: LeBron James - March 9, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at STAPLES Center.
Mar 10, 2018  |  02:54

LeBron James Scores 25 vs. Clippers

LeBron James goes for 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists in 39 minutes for the Cavaliers.
Mar 10, 2018  |  01:53

LBJ Finds Nance Jr. for the Slam

LeBron James finds a cutting Larry Nance Jr. for the slam.
Mar 10, 2018  |  00:09

Swish Breaks Milos Ankles

JR Smith crosses up the Clippers defense for the jumper.
Mar 10, 2018  |  00:15

Featured Highlight: LeBron Rocks the Rim

LeBron James fakes out the defense, drives to the hoop and rocks the rim with the emphatic flush.
Mar 10, 2018  |  00:21

GAME RECAP: Clippers 116, Cavaliers 102

DeAndre Jordan was a force down low for the Clippers with 20 points and 23 rebounds in a 116-102 win over the Cavaliers. LeBron James put up 25 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland in the loss.
Mar 10, 2018  |  01:44

LBJ Lobs Nance Jr.

LeBron James finds Larry Nance Jr. under the basket for the alley-oop slam.
Mar 10, 2018  |  00:13

Swish Lobs Nance Jr.

JR Smith gets into the lane and throws the pretty lob to Larry Nance Jr. for the alley-oop finish.
Mar 10, 2018  |  00:12

Clarkson with the Four-Point Play

Jordan Clarkson gets the triple to fall, plus the foul, in this Goodyear 'More Driven' highlight.
Mar 9, 2018  |  00:22

Korver Says 'Get that Weak Stuff Outta Here!'

Kyle Korver comes over from the weak side and swats away DeAndre Jordan's shot attempt.
Mar 9, 2018  |  00:15

Jeff Green with the Slam

LeBron James spots Jeff Green in the paint for the easy flush.
Mar 9, 2018  |  00:09

LBJ Coast-to-Coast

LeBron James streaks down the floor and converts the fast break finger roll.
Mar 9, 2018  |  00:15

#CavsClippers Shootaround: LeBron James - March 9, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media prior to Friday's shootaround in Los Angeles.
Mar 9, 2018  |  05:02

#CavsClippers Shootaround: Larry Nance Jr. - March 9, 2018

Cavaliers center Larry Nance Jr. spoke with the media prior to Friday's shootaround in Los Angeles.
Mar 9, 2018  |  04:13

#CavsClippers Shootaround: Jordan Clarkson - March 9, 2018

Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson spoke with the media prior to Friday's shootaround in Los Angeles.
Mar 9, 2018  |  03:27

#CavsClippers Shootaround: Coach Lue - March 9, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media prior to Friday's shootaround in Los Angeles.
Mar 9, 2018  |  03:38