And just like that, the good feelings from the Los Angeles Clippers 2-0 start are all gone. Losing back to back home games against teams that are supposed to be inferior will do that. Just as was the case a couple of nights before against Golden State, the Clippers allowed the Cleveland Cavaliers to be the aggressor all night long. The Clippers seemed to think that they'd be able to turn it on when they needed it, and they were almost right. But after climbing all the way back from a double digit deficit in the second half to tie the game at 94 with 4:29 remaining the Clippers fell apart down the stretch.
Playing at home, when you are supposedly the better team, with supposedly the two best players on the court, and the veteran experience, you would expect to win the final four and a half minutes. Instead the Clippers gave up the final three of the 14 three pointers they allowed in the game and lost the crunch time battle 14-7. The Clippers now fall to 2-2 on the season. At least the San Antonio Spurs are coming to town Wednesday; that's a good thing, right, given that the Clippers are 2-0 against teams that made the playoffs last season, 0-2 against teams that did not.
The Clippers lost this game in myriad ways, but three of them stand out: they committed 25 turnovers, they gave up 18 offensive rebounds, and they allowed the Cavs to shoot 14-29 from deep. Turnovers and offensive rebounds represent extra possessions, which manifested themselves in 18 additional field goal attempts and six additional free throw attempts for the Cavs. On top of that, when you let your opponent score an extra point on so many of those extra possessions, it's actually pretty amazing that the Clippers were in this game at all.
The Cavs backcourt did most of the damage. Kyrie Irving (who is absolutely the real deal, btw) got them off to a sizzling start with 16 of their 31 first quarter points and finished with 24, including the dagger three with 30 seconds left and the Clippers down three . Rookie Dion Waiters took over after the first quarter, making 7-11 from deep (including one four point play) on his way to a game high 28 points.
For the Clippers, they will have to live with these losses and try to assess what they're doing wrong. The first order of business will have to be to control their defensive glass. In three of their four games they've given up 16 or more offensive rebounds. That's way too many, and they're paying the price for it.
|Final - 11.5.2012||1||2||3||4||Total|
|Los Angeles Clippers||28||22||28||23||101|