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On Monday night against the Lakers, the Cavaliers saw things slip away right after halftime. On Tuesday, a scorching Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers never let them get that far.
The Clippers blew things open just before halftime, opening up a double-digit lead and never looking back – handing Cleveland the 128-103 loss to keep the Cavs winless in Tinseltown.
L.A. scored thirty-plus points in each of the first two quarters and exactly 40 in the third, overwhelming the road-weary Wine and Gold. Leonard went off for a season-high 43 points in just three quarters of work and Lou Williams added 24 off the bench in the lopsided win.
The Cavaliers were without Kevin Love – who sat the second-half of the back-to-back – but got Larry Nance Jr. back after a six-game absence with a sore knee. It didn’t matter against a Clippers squad that’s dropped Cleveland in each of its last four visits.
Collin Sexton led the Cavs on Tuesday – netting 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, adding a pair of steals.
Cedi Osman was just as good from deep – going 5-of-8 from long-range and 7-of-13 overall, finishing with 21 points, three boards and an assist. Including both games on Cleveland’s recent trip to L.A., the third-year forward was a combined 9-for-14 from three-point range.
Darius Garland didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but still managed to tally the first double-double of his young career – finishing with 14 points and game-high 10 assists in the loss.
Cleveland’s bench did most of its damage during garbage time, but there were still some noteworthy efforts.
Matthew Dellavedova went for a season-high 14 points – all in the fourth quarter – going 4-of-7 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from deep and 4-of-6 from the stripe. John Henson added 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting to go with seven boards and three blocked shots. Two-way player, Dean Wade, chipped in with six points, eight boards and three blocks of his own.
Overall, the Clippers shot 52 percent from the field, canned 15 triples and outrebounded the Wine and Gold, 53-40, in the victory.
Darius Garland dimes John Henson for the first-quarter slam.
Tuesday’s turning point was every bit as pronounced as Monday’s here at Staples Center.
Cleveland hung tough with Doc Rivers’ squad through the first quarter and was well within striking distance late in the quarter – cutting L.A.’s lead to just three, 53-50, on Cedi Osman’s triple with 3:02 to play before half.
But those are the last points Cleveland would score before half – with the Clippers closing the second quarter on a 13-0 run to take a 16-point edge into the locker room.
Less than four minutes into the second stanza, L.A. improved its edge to 20, proceeded to score 40 points in the period and essentially coasted home in the fourth quarter.
16.0, 5.6, .462, .857 … Darius Garland’s scoring and assist averages – along with his shooting percentage from the floor and the stripe – over the past 10 games.
Over that stretch, the No. 5 overall pick in this June’s Draft has tallied at least a dozen points in each, with two 20-point efforts in the mix.
Cedi Osman, on his strong shooting in both games at Staples Center …
”I’m just feeling really comfortable right now. I am trusting my shot because I know that I have worked really hard to fix mythree-point shot. I think it is just paying off right now. I am going to keep being confident and believing in my shot. I know that I’m a good shooter.”
Enjoy the best broadcast calls of the night from Cavaliers Radio Network's Tim Alcorn and 87.7 La Mega's Rafa Hernandez-Brito.
After a rough couple nights in SoCal, the Wine and Gold close out their roadie this weekend with a back-to-back beginning with a Friday night tilt in Memphis against Ja Morant and the surprising Grizzlies.
On Saturday night, the Cavs close out the trip against the Bulls in Chicago before returning to Cleveland for a three-game homestand – welcoming the Knicks to town for an MLK Day matinee followed by visits from the Wizards and Bulls to close out the week.