Cavaliers 108, Clippers 101

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- On Friday, the Los Angeles Clippers had little trouble with the Los Angeles Lakers' star-studded, veteran lineup.

Three days later, the Clippers struggled against the Cleveland Cavaliers' young pups.

Cleveland's youthful corps rebounded from an early deficit to trip the Clippers 108-101 Monday night at Staples Center.

Cavaliers guards Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters and forward Tyler Zeller combined for 67 points, including 33 in the second half, coming alive in a spirited back-and-forth fourth quarter. Waiters had eight of his game-high 28 points, including two clutch 3-pointers, in the fourth quarter.

After Cleveland (2-2) maintained a small advantage for much of the second half, Clippers guard Jamal Crawford tied the game at 94 with 4:30 left before Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers on Cleveland's next two possessions.

Irving added a game-deciding 3-pointer with 28 seconds left to give the Cavaliers a six-point lead. He finished with 24 points.

Anderson Varejao added 15 points and 15 rebounds for Cleveland, and Zeller scored a career-high 15 points while grabbing seven rebounds.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers (2-2) with 20 points but had just six rebounds and committed five turnovers. Chris Paul added 18 points and nine assists for Los Angeles, and Crawford finished with 19 points and four turnovers. The Clippers committed a season-high 25 turnovers.

The Cavaliers took control late in the first half, and they led 57-50 at the break.

Los Angeles had an eight-point advantage with just more than five minutes left in the first quarter, but the Cavaliers went on an 18-7 run to close the quarter before stretching the lead to seven late in the second.

Irving had 16 points in the first half on 50 percent shooting while adding three assists, and rookies Waiters and Zeller combined for 18 points. Zeller did his damage off the bench, connecting on four of five shots for 10 points in 12 first-half minutes.

Cleveland controlled the tempo for much of the second quarter and finished the half with 14 assists and just seven turnovers.

The Cavaliers forced the Clippers into 13 turnovers, negating Los Angeles' 50 percent shooting (18-for-36).

Crawford continued his strong early season-play with a team-high nine first-half points, while Paul added eight and Griffin six in a relatively quiet half. Griffin was held at bay on the glass as well, totaling four rebounds in the first two quarters, while Varejao had nine first-half boards.

NOTES: Clippers veterans Chauncey Billups (Achilles) and Grant Hill (knee) both missed the game. ... Cleveland won the team's lone matchup in 2011-12, 99-92, on Feb. 8. ... The Clippers have lost 14 of their past 18 meetings with the Cavaliers.
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