|Los Angeles Clippers||94||Final
Recap | Box score
MVP: The Cavaliers starting five. No, seriously, take your pick. Kevin Love scored the first eight points of the game (on the way to a game-high 24), Timofey Mozgov showed off his ball-handling and vision (yes, you read that right) and LeBron did LeBron things on his way to 23 points and 9 assists. Hell, even J.R. Smith was good. Every member of the Cavs’ starting five was at least a + 24. The Clippers never stood a chance.
X-Factor: Technically speaking… The Clippers lost their cool. In the space of four minutes during the third quarter, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Matt Barnes were all whistled for technical fouls – Barnes was T’d up twice and was ejected from the game. The Clippers already trailed by 20 at that point so maybe it didn’t matter. However it was clear that they were frustrated, their heads weren’t in it and a comeback wasn’t on the cards.
That was … over before it began. The final score actually flattered the Clippers. They were outmatched in every facet of the game. With three minutes to go in the third quarter they trailed by 32. A big run in Garbage Time by the Clippers bench in meant the final score was a lot closer than it should’ve been. Make no mistake, this was a rout.
– Roscoe Whalan
Tweet(s) Of The Game
The Clippers need to decide whether they’re playing the Cavaliers or the referees. Although they’re probably going to lose to both.
— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) February 6, 2015
Matt Barnes ejected and has to be held back. He was not happy. Probably will have to pick up another shift at Costco
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) February 6, 2015
“Hey, we should’ve given you a better game today. We’ll make it up to you.” – Doc Rivers to young courtside Clippers fan.
— Andrew Han (@andrewthehan) February 6, 2015
Check Your Messages
Free Throws, Part II
When we were last here at Last Call, the conversation about a Clippers loss related to putrid free throw shooting in a game decided by two points.
The Cavaliers swept the Clippers, and it was ugly for many of reasons. But the most disturbing to me was the free throw margin.
The Clippers “improved” to make 65 percent of their free throws in Cleveland, 13-of-20. That’s not good, but that’s not the 32-percent abomination the team bricked up in Brooklyn.
Unfortunately, the Clippers allowed a season-high 44 free throw attempts tonight, and the Cavaliers made 35 of them. That’s a 22-point margin right there. Kevin Love made 10-of-12 from the line on his way to a game-high 24 points. The entire Clippers starting lineup made only 5-of-9 free throws.
Obviously, the Clippers need to chill – five technical fouls were called on the Clippers, a team that has more techs than every team in the league except the Thunder and Suns since Doc Rivers arrived in 2013. But the team has to keep the opposition off the free throw line – and get there more themselves.
– Law Murray
Least against the East
The Clippers have a superb record against the brutal Western Conference – in particular against playoff bound opponents. However, when it comes to taking on the best in the inferior Eastern Conference it’s a different story altogether. The Clippers have now lost the season series against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Atlanta Hawks. They’ve also chalked up losses against Chicago, Washington and Toronto. It’s a strange trend and one the Clippers can avenge tomorrow night as they head north of the border to take on the Raptors. Here’s to hoping they can snap out of their funk against their Eastern Conference foes, otherwise they’ll have to address an even more worrying trend – their first three game slide of the season.
– Roscoe Whalan