Coming into tonight’s game against the Cavaliers, the Clippers sought to build off of their recent success against the Trail Blazers in what seemed to be an easy win at home. With tonight’s tough 92-79 loss, they took a step backwards.
The starters looked uncomfortable matching up against a lineup that featured three seven-footers, missing open shots and making careless errors that led to turnovers. Their weak start added fuel to the young Cavaliers’ fire that’s two games in the making, with Collin Sexton taking charge with the hops of securing their third win in a row. He shot at a high percentage throughout the first half, overcoming his height disadvantage and showing a confidence that made a real impact on his team’s effort level.
The Clippers did end the second quarter relatively strong, cutting the double-digit lead to a more manageable seven-point deficit. Reggie Jackson came to form in the third quarter, hitting his trademark threes from distance and tough shots in the mid-range, helping the Clippers get into a groove on offense. Their more efficient passing contributed to quality shots, which Jackson made sure to take advantage of.
Unfortunately, their momentum was interrupted on a number of occasions throughout the third, ending the quarter with double the number of total fouls that the Cavs had. Much of that was due to the Clippers’ lack of size, resulting in a rebounding disadvantage that forced the team to be physical on the interior. The fourth quarter wasn’t much different, with the Cavaliers jumping out to another double-digit lead that the Clippers couldn’t overcome.
If anything, this game does bring up questions about the Clippers’ offense, particularly when shots aren’t falling from deep. They certainly have the weapons to compete, and it is still early in the season, but they’ll have to put it to practice as the season progresses.