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Cleveland Cavaliers Lose Game but May Have Lost More than That

March 17th, 2014 at 1:49 PM
By Pat Murphy

'Blake Griffin' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ The Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Los Angeles Clippers 102-80 Sunday night, but may have lost more than just the game. Guard Kyrie Irving left the game late in the first quarter and departed from the arena with his arm in a sling. It was a reported bicep injury and Cleveland.com's Mary Schmitt Boyer believes Irving could be done for the season.

Before losing the guard, the Cavaliers were already struggling. They allowed the Clippers to score the first 11 points of the game and Irving missed his first five attempts from the floor.

Los Angeles was able to get what they wanted throughout most of the game. The Cavs made runs in the third and fourth quarter to keep things interesting, but the game was never really in doubt as the Clippers never trailed and led by as much as 22 points.

Cleveland had 17 turnovers, compared to just five by L.A., that led to 25 fast break points. The Cavaliers were only able to muster five points in transition struggled to play at the Clipper's pace without Irving.

Blake Griffin, who received the NBA's Western Conference Player of the Month award for February before the game, scored 21 points and had 11 rebounds and eight assists on his 25th birthday.

Six other Clipper players scored in double figures with Chris Paul leading the way with 16 points. Irving may not be the best defender, but he would have put more pressure on Paul on the other end of the quarter and possibly slowed him down. Paul also finished with 15 assists and no turnovers.

Reggie Bullock scored 14 points off the L.A. bench and DeAndre Jordan finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. 

Luol Deng led Cleveland with a game-high 23 points and six rebounds of an 8-16 shooting night. With no Irving, Dion Waiters was expected to pick up the slack, but finished with just 15 points on 15 shots.

Spencer Hawes did not put up big numbers, ending the evening with just 14 points and five rebounds while Jarrett Jack had 12 points and five assists.

The Cavaliers next suit up Tuesday night as LeBron James and the Miami Heat come to town. Irving is scheduled for an MRI Monday in Cleveland, but there are fears that the 21-year old's season could be done.

Without Irving, the Cavs shot of making a push for the playoffs – they sit four and a half games back of the eighth see – decreases tremendously. Stay tune for any updates on Irving as they become available.

Tags: Basketball, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dion Waiters, Jarrett Jack, Kyrie Irving, Los Angeles Clippers, Luol Deng, Miami Heat, NBA, Reggie Bullock, Spencer Hawes

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