Two of the NBA’s premier teams played in a nationally televised battle on Thursday night, with the Cavs falling to the Clippers 113-94.
Leading up to the game much was made of the Cavaliers first game against a title contender this year. The fan base was excited, Cleveland sports celebrities Michael Brantley and Terrelle Pryor were in attendance. Unfortunately the game itself did not live up the hype. The pace of the game was slow, the refs were heavily involved calling touch fouls on both sides of the court. The high flying offensive basketball Cavs fans are used to seeing was nowhere to be found. The team committed too many turnovers and experienced too many defensive lapses to win the game. The loss was well earned.
The problem for the Cavs tonight is that they've been bad at everything.— Conrad Kaczmarek (@ConradKaz) December 2, 2016
The Cavaliers opened the game with a sight all Cavs fans love to see, a J.R. Smith three pointer.
And the team continued to’ play well during the first quarter. It was a promising start to the game. ‘The Big Three were playing well and making highlight plays. Kyrie was so in the zone, he thought Chris Paul was Austin Rivers.
Kyrie, don't DO that to CP3 https://t.co/KQz1AYaoeV— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) December 2, 2016
But unfortunately for the Cavs the rest of the first half was sloppy. The team committed nine turnovers and was whistled for 16 fouls which resulted in an eight point deficit heading into halftime.
Things only got worse after the break. The Clippers opened the third quarter on a 13-2 run widening their lead to 19 points, a lead that they would not relinquish. For the remainder of the quarter the Cavs would make mini-runs to try and claw back into the game but never were able to sustain their success for long enough to truly threaten Los Angeles. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around the Cavaliers were down 20 and it was clear it was time to rest the starters and get out of the game injury free.
After the loss to Milwaukee earlier in the week the expectation was that the Cavaliers would refocus and make a statement against the Clippers. That did not happen. The game was a disappointment and losing two games in a row stings, but its December 1st and this team’s aspirations are much greater than an excellent regular season record.
Fortunately for the Cavs, they take on the Chicago Bulls tomorrow night, potentially allowing them to move past this stinker rather quickly and get back in the win column.