LA Clippers get bruised Cavs at start of tough road trip

first_imgIt’s true the L.A. Clippers recently won 10 consecutive games and nine without Blake Griffin.Yet there was nothing difficult about the list of opponents during that stretch. Only two games came against teams — Charlotte and Miami — that were over .500 at the time.Still, it was impressive because the Clippers were sans Griffin, who Monday missed his 11th game in a row with a partially torn left quad tendon.After Monday’s 140-132 overtime victory over the Houston Rockets at Staples Center, Griffin was seen walking through the hallway in quick fashion. He seemed fine, but coach Doc Rivers would not commit to playing Griffin at Cleveland on Thursday, when the Clippers (27-14) begin a difficult five-game East Coast swing. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “The teams we’re going out to play don’t lose a lot at home, so it’s going to be a hard trip for us.”The Cavaliers are 15-2 at home, the Raptors 12-6, the Hawks 15-7 and the Pacers 13-6. Even the Knicks, the only team currently under .500, is 12-8 at Madison Square Garden.Redick on fireJ.J. Redick scored a career-high 40 points Monday. He shot 11 of 19 overall. But he was marvelous from 3-point range, where he made 9 of 12.Afterward, he was asked about the zone he was in with his shot.“I do not know that it is the best I have felt shooting the ball,” he said. “I feel like I missed a couple mid-range shots I would have normally made. It was one of those games where neither team could get a stop. There were several players that were a beneficiary of that, myself included.”Although the Rockets did not shoot all that well from beyond the arc — 34.4 percent (11 of 32) — they did shoot 50 percent overall. The Clippers shot 51.6 percent overall and an almost unbelievable 59.5 percent (22 of 37) from long distance.The 22 3-pointers were a franchise high and one shy of the NBA record.DJ is backCenter DeAndre Jordan had missed the previous two games with pneumonia. He came back Monday to score 16 points, grab 15 rebounds and block two shots in 41 minutes.“I was going to try to play (the last two games), but it was tough,” said Jordan, who had his streak of 360 consecutive games snapped. “I couldn’t stand up, so I knew I wouldn’t be very effective. It was pretty bad. I just wanted to play and be there for my team.”center_img “I mean, I don’t know,” said Rivers, whose team had lost five consecutive games to Houston dating to this past season’s Western Conference semifinals. “Blake is looking a lot better. I personally doubt it, but I know he wants to; he’s going to give it a try. But I personally doubt that he makes that game. I think there is a better chance now that he’s going to play on the road trip. I just can’t tell you when.”Big testThis trip will indeed be challenging for the Clippers. After playing Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland (28-11 as of Tuesday), which was smashed by 34 points (132-98) by Golden State at home Monday, the Clippers make stops in New York (21-22), Toronto (26-15), Indiana (22-19) and Atlanta (25-17).Toronto is No. 2 in the East, Atlanta No. 4.“They all play different,” Rivers said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge. This is a good road trip, because it’s hard. There are not a lot of easy games on this trip, so you have to go out and play and you have to play well to win.last_img

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