Clippers lose to Cavaliers, 99-92
The Clippers, playing their first game without Chauncey Billups, who is out for the rest of the season with a torn left Achilles’ tendon, appeared to sleep through most of the game, which was also the debut for power forward Kenyon Martin.
They trailed by 15 points in the third quarter, tied the score in the fourth and then couldn’t make plays late, which sent the Clippers to a 99-92 defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
Chris Paul had a rough night, scoring 16 points on five-for-16 shooting. He also had 12 assists. Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 25 points and 15 rebounds before he fouled out late in the game.
Martin played 20 minutes 24 seconds, finishing with six points on three-of-seven shooting with four rebounds, two blocked shots, one steal and four personal fouls.
The Cavaliers didn’t have prized rookie point guard Kyrie Irving, who didn’t play because of a concussion. But they had four players score in double figures to get the win.
Antawn Jamison had 27 points and eight rebounds and Ramon Sessions had a double-double with 24 points and 13 assists.
The Clippers had one last chance to tie the score after Daniel Gibson made one of two free throws for a 95-92 Cavaliers lead with 16.4 seconds left.
But Caron Butler, who had a solid game with 21 points, missed a three-pointer.
Alonzo Gee made two free throws for a 97-92 Cavaliers lead that spelled the end for the Clippers.
-- Broderick Turner, reporting from Cleveland
Photo: Clippers guard Mo Williams tries to cut off a drive by Cavaliers guard Ramon Sessions in the first half Wednesday night in Cleveland. Credit: David Maxwell / EPA