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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Game 24: Clippers at Cavs

Quicken Loans Arena
RADIO/TV: WTAM/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: This was the Clippers' first game without guard Chauncey Billups, who tore his Achilles' tendon against Orlando on Monday. He will miss the rest of the season. Judging by the seven-point loss to the Cavs, "Mr. Big Shot" will be missed.

Even though they have plenty of guards, including former Cav Mo Williams, they will miss Billups' leadership qualities. Billups was a big part of that team. Williams was one of my favorite guys when he played for the Cavs. He sure didn't show up on Wednesday, as he made just 2 of 10 shots for five points. He missed a key layup with 1:10 to play.

Some observers thought the Clippers were good enough to get out of the Western Conference come playoff time. They do appear to be the best team in the Pacific Division.

Cavs guard Kyrie Irving was so looking forward to playing against Paul, one of his heroes. However, he missed his first game as a pro with a concussion.

My guess is that he'll miss both weekend games. I predict he won't play until at least Feb. 15 against Indiana. But that's me talking and not the Cavs.

The Cavs played with just 11 healthy players for the second consecutive night. Daniel Gibson (neck infection) returned for tonight's game. He had missed the previous five games. He had 17 points, despite not playing since Jan. 27.

Power forward Tristan Thompson (sprained left ankle) is also very close to returning. He is expected to return on Friday vs. Milwaukee.

The Cavs have not lost to the Clippers at home since March 10, 2002 - a string of nine consecutive games. Overall, the Cavs have won won 10 of the last 11 games against the Clippers.

Containing power forward Blake Griffin was the focal point of the defense.The 6-10 Griffin averaged 31 points against the Cavs last season. The teams split the two games against each other last year. He finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds on Wednesday. He wasn't very good in the first half. It wasn't until he got mad that he started playing well.

He is an immense talent.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host the Milwaukee Bucks at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Quicken Loans Arena.

SF Omri Casspi (6-9, 225) vs. Caron Butler (6-7, 228)
PF Antawn Jamison (6-9, 235) vs. Blake Griffin (6-10, 252)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. DeAndre Jordan (6-11, 265)
SG Daniel Gibson (6-2, 200) vs. Randy Foye (6-4, 213)
PG Ramon Sessions (6-3, 190) vs. Chris Paul (6-0, 175) 
Cavs – G Anthony Parker, F Tristan Thompson

Clippers - G Chauncey Billups
Mike Callahan,  Pat Fraher,  Scott Wall


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