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

Friday, January 16, 2015

Game 41: Cavs at Clippers

Staples Center
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: ESPN, Fox Sports Ohio

1. This might be the Cavs' signature win of the season. If LeBron James is right, they can beat any team in the league. They proved that tonight.

2. They won back-to-back games at the Staples Center against the Lakers and Clippers, respectively. They finished the West Coast trip with a 2-3 record. James played in the last three games. They probably should have won them all. They now return to Cleveland for a four-game homestand.

3. They shot an impressive 55 percent from the field against a very good Clippers team. That included 44 percent from the 3-point line. They attempted 23 3s, which is more in line for what Coach David Blatt is looking. Kyrie Irving, who led all scorers with 37 points, was 5 of 7 from behind the arc. It was a dazzling shooting display in front of a national-television audience.

4. Power forward Kevin Love missed his second game this season with back spasms. He was bothered against the Lakers on Thursday, yet drew a late charging foul against Jeremy Lin. It was a big play in that game. He was not able to go tonight. What's impressive is the Cavs still outrebounded the rugged Clippers, 44-43. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan leads the league in rebounding at 13.6 per game. Power forward Blake Griffin is also a load on the boards.

5. James ended with 32 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. He added three steals and a whopping nine turnovers. The Cavs had 20 as a team, which led to 33 points by the Clippers.

6. I was wondering what the Cavs had up their sleeves regarding Griffin, who ended with 34 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out late in the game. They started with Tristan Thompson on Griffin, and then switched James on him in the late going. He's got the size advantage on James, and can obviously jump out of the gym.

7. Thompson was impressive with a season-high 24 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks. He was very active all night around the basket.

8. The Cavs tried to get back in the game in the third quarter with a Hack-a-DeAndre strategy. Jordan was 5 of 12 from the foul line in the third - and the game - so I guessed it worked. He finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

9. Sources say the Cavs might have interest in point guard Jordan Farmar, who was waived by the Clippers. They need some insurance at backup point guard. There might be some concerns about Matthew Dellavedova getting it done in the postseason.

10. The Cavs' bench was outscored, 22-13.

UP NEXT: vs. Chicago, Quicken Loans Arena, 7:30 p.m. Monday

SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Matt Barnes (6-7, 225)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. Blake Griffin (6-10, 251)
C Timofey Mozgov (7-1, 250) vs. DeAndre Jordan (6-11, 265)
SG J.R. Smith (6-6, 220) vs. J.J. Redick (6-4, 190)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Chris Paul (6-0, 175)
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, G Iman Shumpert
Clippers - F Chris Wilcox
Tony Brothers, Brian Forte, Leon Wood


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