Takeaways: Clippers pull off franchise first with latest signature win over Cavs
Clips smash three-game losing streak and add another top team to their list of victories
The Clippers did something they've never done in franchise history Thursday night. It took the team a full 13 years since LeBron James first stepped foot on an NBA court, but the Clippers finally beat him on his home floor with a 113-94 victory.
The game was decided in the third quarter when the Clippers outscored the Cavs 27-15. The Clippers dominated Cleveland 61-37 between the second and third quarters, and that was all she wrote.
Some quick takeaways ...
1. Huge bounce-back for the Clippers. They were coming off a three-game losing streak to the Pistons, Pacers and the lowly Nets and had looked broken. Chris Paul was quoted by TNT as saying the team had no identity. But now they're 15-5 with wins over the Thunder, Spurs, Grizzlies and Cavaliers.
More importantly, they found the balance they've been missing, converting great defense to offense. They held the Cavaliers to 41 percent shooting and surrendered just six offensive boards to the Cavaliers. They committed themselves on the defensive end. This is what the Clippers are capable of, and they look great when this team shows up.
2. A bad night for Bron. James scored just 16 points on 5-of-14 shooting, had five boards and as many turnovers (five) as assists. The Cavaliers were outscored by 20 with James on the floor. It's a pretty good bet that when the Cavaliers are outscored with LeBron on the floor, especially by double digits, the Cavaliers are going to catch an L.
It was an off night for James, but credit needs to go to the Clippers' bigs, who challenged James consistently at the rim and on switches. James was just 4-of-8 at the rim, a poor mark, especially for him.
3. Redick Chronicles.
J.J. Redick had 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting and 4-of-6 from deep. He absolutely shredded J.R. Smith's off-ball defense. Just watch:
That Blake Griffin dribble hand off play with Redick is just deadly, and his ability to score off the dribble really hurt Cleveland. Smith had a miserable night.
4. Bench Able. The Clippers' bench unit continues to provide a spark, with a 46-28 advantage in scoring over Cleveland's bench. Just not losing the momentum that the starters provide is a huge step forward. The Cavs are eight deep, but you start to see why they could probably use one more guy, though Mike Dunleavy was out vs. the Clippers.
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The Cavs are up 3-1, in part thanks to Irving's astonishing performance.
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Cleveland took a 3-1 lead on Boston and will look to close it out Thursday
Boston had a 16-point lead at one point