Clippers Recap: When LeBron goes full LeBron


Losing to the Brooklyn Nets and the New Orleans Pelicans without Anthony Davis is downright embarrassing. Getting blown out on national television is also embarrassing, but there’s an understanding amongst fans that when LeBron James goes full LeBron James, sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it.

Tonight was one of those nights and if the Clippers are smart, they’ll forget it ever happened and move on to the next opponent (Toronto on a SEGABABA).

“We didn’t have any physicality. We were on heels at the beginning of the game, and once you’re like that, it’s tough.

This game didn’t take long to figure itself out.

After the first five minutes, the Cavs jumped out to a 14-10 lead behind 10 points from Kevin Love, Griffin’s faux nemesis.

By the end of the first quarter, the Cavs were up 30-20, with the Clippers shooting 9-23 (39 percent from the field), a recipe for disaster.

Halfway through the second, the Clippers got their dose of LeBron James, who pushed the Cavs to a 43-28 lead.

By halftime? 65-42 (Clippers shooting 42%, Cavs shooting 60 percent).

By the end of the third quarter? 94-63 and the rest is history.

“We didn’t come to play,” said DeAndre Jordan who finished with 8 points and 14 rebounds in 27 minutes of play. “We didn’t have any physicality. We were on heels at the beginning of the game, and once you’re like that, it’s tough.”

Outside of Jordan, shooting troubles plagued the starters: combined, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford, the teams three leading scorers, finished 11-of-45 from the field. Off the bench, Austin Rivers added to the house building with 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting.

The Clippers aren’t the first team to catch the wrath of James and the Cavaliers. Dating back to James’ return from injury, the Cavs are 12-1 including tonight’s game. But the Clippers are supposed to be contenders and the frustration showed throughout, as technical fouls plagued the teague.

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  • Doc Rivers got one, Chris Paul got one, DeAndre Jordan got one, and Matt Barnes got two, all at the hands of female referee Lauren Holtkamp. Frustrated with Holtkamp’s judgement calls, Paul had a lot to say about the rookie referee in the post-game locker room.

    “I think we have to show better composure, but at the same time, some of (the technicals) were ridiculous,” Paul said. “The tech I got right there was ridiculous. I don’t care what anybody says. I don’t care what she says. That’s terrible.

    “There’s no way that can be a tech. We try to get the ball out fast every time down the court, and when we did that, she said ‘Uh-uh.’ I said, ‘Why uh-uh?’ And she gave me a tech.

    “… That’s ridiculous. It that’s the case, this might not be for her.”

    While the internal frustration is likely an anomaly, the Clippers play of late all goes back to the Pelicans game. Since then we’ve seen the same lackadaisical Clippers effort we grew familiar with early in the season — they don’t defend or rebound and without J.J. Redick in the picture to draw attention off others, the offense has become fairly easy to defend, especially with Crawford in the game.

    If one had to guess, the Clippers are looking ahead to the All-Star break. Considering the schedule they’ve endured up until this point, you somewhat can’t blame them, but this slide could be the difference between home court in the first round and kicking off the playoffs on the road.

    The next few games before the break starts? LA will face Toronto, Oklahoma City and Dallas, all at home, before heading back to Staples to face Houston. Even with injuries (Kevin Durant — toe, Rajon Rondo — face, Dwight Howard — knee), none of these matchups will be easy. If the talent leans heavily in Los Angeles’ direction, effort will be the deciding factor and after tonight’s game, that facet of the game isn’t a given.

    Hopefully tomorrow’s effort is much better than tonight’s. If not, the second half of the season could be a long, worrisome one.

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