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Clippers look to earn season series split with Cavs

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The Clippers will try and take down LeBron James an the Cavaliers in an early Sunday afternoon tilt at STAPLES.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

2015-16 NBA Regular Season
vs
Cleveland Cavaliers (46-18)

Los Angeles Clippers (42-22)
March 13, 2016 — 12:30 PM PT
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, California
ABC, Prime Ticket, The Beast 980 AM, KWKW 1330 AM
Win-Loss Breakdown ('15-'16)
46-18 Record 42-22
27-12 East 20-7
19-6 West 22-15
6-5 Division 7-5
27-6 Home 22-11
19-12 Road 20-11
20-14 .500+ 17-17
26-4 .500– 25-5
2-2 OT 4-1
6-4 L10 6-4
Projected Starters
Kyrie Irving
PG Chris Paul
J.R. Smith SG J.J. Redick
LeBron James SF Wesley Johnson
Kevin Love PF Jeff Green
Tristan Thompson C DeAndre Jordan
Efficiency Stats ('14-'15)
95.5 (27th) Pace 98.5 (13th)
107.6 (4th) OffRtg 106.2 (5th)
101.5 (8th) DefRtg 100.5 (6th)
6.1 (4th) NetRtg 5.7 (5th)
Injury Report

Mo Williams (knee) Out

Kevin Love (knee) Probable

Blake Griffin (Hand) Out

Paul Pierce (toe) Questionable

Luc Mbah a Moute (eyelid) Questionable

What's new with the Clippers?

LAC comes into this one on the heels of a W over the Knicks on Friday night. With both Luc Mbah a Moute and Paul Pierce on the shelf, Jeff Green played a whopping 45 minutes and contributed 17 points, six rebounds and four assists on 6-for-11 shooting from the floor. If neither player is able to give it a go this afternoon, Jeff could be in for another long day.

The Clippers continue to nip at the tail of the Oklahoma City Thunder, whose lead over L.A. for the West's No. 3 seed is a measly one game, though the two are now tied in the loss column. This is the Clips' last game at home before a tough five-game road swing that includes stops in San Antonio, Houston and Oakland.

What's new with the Cavaliers?

With the Lakers enduring some tough times these days, the Cavaliers have taken over as the NBA's most dramatic team. They understandably draw plenty of scrutiny thanks to LeBron James and massive expectations, but the off-court stuff with this team is on another level right now. The notion that Kevin Love was being intentionally shut out of LeBron James' little postgame group photoshoots is an example of the dumb things that go on with the Cavs. Lately, LeBron has been tweeting cryptic motivational quotes, evidently meant to be veiled shots at someone in that locker room. Oh, and they evidently had a mutiny that got their old coach canned about halfway through the season. Good times!

In spite of it all, Cleveland remains the odds-on favorite to come out of the East. That conference may have better overall depth this season than it's had in a long time, but it's hard to fathom any of those teams having enough gas in the tank to take out the Cavaliers once the playoffs roll around. They still have LeBron, they still have Kyrie Irving. They also have Kevin Love, for whatever he's worth. There isn't another team in the East that can match that Big 3 from a talent perspective and they have enough other worker bees surrounding them to where they should breeze their way to the Finals.

They should breeze their way to the Finals. The Raptors have been excellent this season, though will they have DeMarre Carroll back in time? He's the only one on that roster that seems capable of giving LeBron some problems. Will Miami have Chris Bosh? If so, they'll be a tough out, especially given how Hassan Whiteside continues to improve. What do we make of teams like Boston, Indiana and Atlanta? They're all solid, but, again, none of them seems to stack up.

All of their melodramatics are probably just retribution for starting the whole "The Land" thing. "The Land" remains the worst.

Matchup to watch

Chris Paul vs. Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving seems to be rounding into form after missing the first month-and-a-half of the season with the knee injury he suffered in last year's Finals. So far in five games in March, Kyrie is averaging 24.8 points and six assists on solid 39% shooting from three-point range. He's absolutely a score-first point guard and Chris Paul is going to have his hands full trying to keep him off the score sheet.

CP3 has had to shoulder a huge chunk of the scoring load with Blake Griffin still on the shelf, and it would be nice to see him come out aggressively early on. Irving's defense can certainly be exploited and Paul should look to set the tone by attacking him from the jump. Watching two of the league's premier ball handlers go head-to-head should be a lot of fun.

Cleveland-based celebrity we should irrationally hate for a couple hours

Drew Carey

This had to be Drew Carey, right? Are there even any other famous people from Cleveland? Is Drew Carey even famous anymore? So many questions.

Carey now hosts The Price is Right, which is a show your grandmother watches. And I'm guessing she's the only one. There really isn't much else to say about Drew Carey. Let's just move on.

Game day song of choice

Despite Cleveland being the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there aren't a whole lot of noteworthy Cleveland-based bands out there from which to choose. Here's a sampling:

Yeah, Filter! Remember them? No? Ok then! Here's their other song:

This was a big song in high school, I swear. Dark times for music, indeed.

While we're here I may as well beat you over the head with "Cleveland Rocks", too.

The Cavs and Clippers square-off live from STAPLES Center at 12:30 Sunday afternoon on ABC and Prime Ticket. Hopefully none of these songs will be stuck in your head.