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The heavyweight Clippers got smashed by 27 points on Saturday night in Minnesota. On Sunday night, they took it out of the Wine & Gold.
Andre Drummond’s Cleveland debut didn’t exactly go as planned, as Los Angeles jumped on the Cavaliers early and never let up – running away with the 133-92 decision at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the Cavs 12th straight loss on their home floor and worst home defeat in franchise history.
This one was never in question. The Clippers scored at least 34 points through each of the first three quarters and, for good measure, held the Cavaliers to just 19 in the fourth – taking their second lopsided decision over Cleveland this season.
The crowd was geared up for Andre Drummond’s first appearance in a Cavaliers uniform after being acquired at the trade deadline on Thursday afternoon – arriving from Detroit in exchange for Brandon Knight, John Henson and a future second-round pick.
Individually, Drummond was solid – leading the Cavaliers with 19 points and both squads with 14 rebounds. The league’s leading rebounder was 7-of-17 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, grabbing half of his boards off the offensive glass and adding three assists, a pair of steals and Cleveland’s lone blocked shot.
Lou Williams, getting the start for Doc Rivers squad, led both teams with 25 points – going 8-of-14 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the stripe. Paul George, who was injured in the previous meeting between these two teams, added 22 points on 5-of-8 shooting from long-range.
But even with Williams in the starting lineup, the Clippers second unit still managed to outscore Cleveland’s reserves, 57-37.
Cleveland’s second-leading scorer on Sunday came off the bench – with Kevin Porter Jr. finishing with 17 points on 8-of-14 shooting, adding four boards, three assists and a steal.
Collin Sexton pitched in with 13 points and three assists, but like his starting backcourt mate, struggled shooting the ball. Sexton was just 4-of-13 on the night; Garland finished 3-of-11 and missed all four three-point attempts, but did manage to lead the Cavs with six assists.
Kevin Love was the only other Cavalier in double-figures, chipping in with 10 points and nine boards on 3-of-8 shooting, adding two assists and a steal in the loss.
Newly acquired Andre Drummond and rookie Kevin Porter Jr. both get up for must-see slam dunks.
Even without the game’s greatest two-way player – Kawhi Leonard – this one got away from the Wine & Gold early.
The Clippers scored the game’s first six points and took their first double-digit lead less than halfway through the first quarter on Paul George’s three-pointer to make it 18-8. The Cavs cut it back (briefly) to single-figures, but the Clippers poured it back on – extending their lead to 17 in the first quarter.
By intermission, L.A. had led by as many as 27 points. In the second half, that lead ballooned to as much as 45. Sunday’s loss was Cleveland’s third 40-point defeat this season.
43, 403 … double-doubles that Andre Drummond has posted – this year and over the course of his career, respectively.
The 43 this season lead the league; his 403 are the most in the NBA since the 2012-13 season, 88 more such games than the next-closest player, Russell Westbrook.
Coach John Beilein, on Sunday’s loss to the Clippers …
”The Clippers were really good today and we weren’t. They came in here angry after that Minnesota loss yesterday and certainly, I knew when I saw Lou Williams in the starting lineup, they’re about to play Philadelphia and Boston and they didn’t want to let this one get away. So, they came in strong and we were not good and way out of sync in so many ways. While it is not acceptable to us, it’s understandable given the new dynamic of our team.”
Enjoy the best broadcast calls of the night from Cavaliers Radio Network's Tim Alcorn and 87.7 La Mega's Rafa Hernandez-Brito.
The Cavaliers close out the 2019-20 season’s unofficial first half on Wednesday night, welcoming the last squad they beat in Cleveland – the Atlanta Hawks – to town in the final game before the All-Star Break.
Cleveland starts the season’s final 30-game stretch next Friday night – hitting the road for a back-to-back against the Wizards and Heat before returning home for a pair against Miami and Philadelphia.