USA Today Sports

Cavs rest 'Big 3' in blowout loss to Clippers

The Cavaliers decided to rest the 'Big 3' on the first game of their road trip against the Clippers and the result was predictable.

For whatever reason, the Cavaliers decided to sit the 'Big 3' against the Los Angeles Clippers, rather than against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night and the result was predictable as the Clippers blew out the short-handed Cavaliers, 108-78 in a nationally televised game. The Cavs fall to 45-23, which dropped their lead to just 1.5 games over the Celtics for the best record in the Eastern Conference standings. 

While the Cavs rested their star players, the Clippers played their stars in Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, J.J. Redick and DeAndre Jordan, who combined for 57 points.  The Cavs had seven players score in double figures with Richard Jefferson leading the way with 12 points. Tristan Thompson and Deron Williams added 11 points, while Channing Frye, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Kay Felder had 10 points each. 

The Cavs had their lowest point total for the first half this season with just 31 points, trailing at the half, 47-31. The Cavs are one of the best three-point shooting teams in the NBA, but were 0-of-13 in the first half from long range and finished just 18.5 percent on 5-of-27.

After opening the road trip with the Clippers, the Cavs will play the Lakers at the same venue 24 hours later. The Clippers at 40-29 are 21 games better that the Lakers at 20-49.

Tip Ins

No 'Big 3': The Cavs LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love did not play. Irving left the last game with knee "tightness". Love returned for the first time after missing 13 games after knee surgery. The announcing team ripped the Cavs throughout the game for not playing the three. It was the sixth game of the season that LeBron James sat out and the Cavs are winless when that happens. 

TT Keeps Going: While the 'Big 3' were sitting out, Tristan Thompson played in his 438th consecutive game. He scored 11 points and had six rebounds.

Bad Shooting: The Cavs were 0-of-13 from three-point range in the first half and finished just 18.5 percent on 5-of-27. The Clippers weren't much better starting 2-of-15. Channing Frye made the Cavs first three with less than 10 minutes to play in the third quarter after 14 misses. Frye was 2-of-7, while Jefferson was 2-of-5.

Not Good: The Cavs finished with just 15 assists and 12 turnovers. 

Korver Misses Again: Kyle Korver (foot) sat out for the sixth-straight game. 

Next Up: The Cavs will play the Lakers Sunday night at 8:30 pm in the same venue they played the Clippers, the Staples Center in Los Angeles.


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