Clippers 105, Cavaliers 89

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND - Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford did what he does best -- score in bunches.
A leading candidate for the Sixth Man of the Year award, Crawford had a game-high 24 points in the Clippers' 105-89 blowout victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.
The Clippers (43-19) have won eight of their last nine games. They also snapped a 10-game losing streak at Quicken Loans Arena dating back to March 10, 2002.
The Cavs (20-39) watched their modest two-game winning streak end.
The Cavs played without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving for the third consecutive game because of a hyperextended right knee. The Cavs are hoping he can return to the lineup on Monday against the New York Knicks.
They missed his scoring prowess on Friday. Shooting guard Dion Waiters, named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month before the game, paced the Cavs with 17 points and six assists.
Power forward Tristan Thompson recorded his 20th double-double of the season with 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Shaun Livingston, drafted by the Clippers in 2004, added 10 points. He was not nearly as effective as he was in his previous two starts.
The Clippers shot better as the game wore on. They finished 51.8 percent from the field. They also did a number on the Cavs on the boards, 39-32.
Power forward Blake Griffin was a beast around the basket. The Western Conference All-Star finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.
Point guard Chris Paul had 11 points and a game-high 15 assists.
Forward Caron Butler added 13 points, while DeAndre Jordan and Lamar Odom each added 10.
The Clippers led by nine points after three quarters, 77-68. The Cavs never threatened in the fourth quarter and never led in the game.
The Cavs shot 44.6 percent from the field, and they were pummeled in points in the paint, 50-28.
One of their goals before the game was to limit their turnovers. However, they turned the ball over 16 times, leading to 16 points.
The Cavs cut their deficit to five points, 83-78, with 1:43 remaining in the third quarter, but couldn't get any closer.
Crawford had 15 points through three quarters.
The Clippers shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and led 54-45 at halftime. They were ahead by 14 points at one point, 53-39, with 2:10 left in the first half on Griffin's layup.
The Cavs, who never led in the first half, were just barely hanging on. C.J. Miles (nine points in the first half) and Marreese Speights (seven points) played well off the bench for the Cavs.
Jordan and Paul each scored six points in the first quarter, as the Clippers opened up a 31-23 advantage.
For the Cavs, Waiters contributed nine points and two assists in the first quarter. Thompson had six points and six rebounds.
Notes: Waiter played in 12 games during the month of February and averaged 15.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals. He shot 51.4 percent from the field. During the month, he ranked first in scoring and assists, second in steals and field-goal percentage and third in minutes among East rookies. Waiters scored 20 or more points in four of the 12 games and shot at least 50 percent from the field seven times. Waiters helped lead the Cavs to a 7-5 record in February. ... Irving has shown some improvement with his hyperextended right knee. However, he's not yet 100 percent, which is why he was held out of the lineup on Friday against the Clippers. Irving has now missed three consecutive games. He had an MRI on Monday in Chicago, a day after his last appearance in Miami. There's a chance he could play Monday against the New York Knicks. ... The Cavs discussed a buyout with forward Omri Casspi, but could not reach any kind of agreement. He would have had to be waived by midnight Friday to be eligible for another team's playoff roster. ... Cavs coach Byron Scott said the biggest difference between Paul and Irving is the former's experience. This is Paul's eighth season in the NBA, Irving's second. "He's the best leader in the league," Scott said. "They both have a killer instinct. They both want the ball in their hands. I used to call CP the 'quiet assassin.'" ... Scott said it pains him that the Clippers are now the No. 1 team in Los Angeles. He admits that the Clippers are legitimate. "They'll have to be dealt with," he said. "They are a team that can win it all. They are as deep as any team in the NBA, maybe the deepest." ... The Cavs recalled forward Kevin Jones from the Canton Charge on Friday. He had 24 points and nine rebounds vs. Idaho on Thursday. ... Jordan didn't break his nose on Thursday in Indiana. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said Jordan had an X-ray and a scan. "He's fine," Del Negro said.

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