James, Cavaliers cruise past Clippers

Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:12pm EDT
 
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(The Sports Xchange) - LeBron James says the Cleveland Cavaliers are hitting their stride.

James scored 27 points, and the Cavaliers used an overwhelming first-half run to crush the Clippers 114-90 Sunday at Staples Center.

"We're kind of getting into form right now, and coach (Tyronn) Lue has done a great job of kind of finding out his rhythm, and we know what he wants out of us and we're responding," said James, who amassed 16 points in the first half and sat out the entire fourth quarter. "We have a great rotation going right now, guys are healthy, and we're just trying to play the right way."

J.R. Smith, who hit five 3-pointers, and Kyrie Irving added 17 points apiece for the Cavaliers, who won their third straight and sixth in seven games. They also swept the season series. The Cavaliers (47-18) posted a 115-102 victory over the Clippers on Jan. 21 at Cleveland.

Cleveland's Channing Frye contributed 15 points, all coming via 3-pointers, and Kevin Love chipped in 12 points, all in the first half, and nine rebounds. Tristan Thompson had 10 points and 11 boards.

"The ball was moving, it had a lot of energy behind it, and guys were in great rhythm," said James, who also had six rebounds and five assists. He moved past Kevin Johnson for 19th on the NBA's all-time assists list with 6,716. "We made extra passes and we were able to execute with guys feeling great rhythm."

J.J. Redick had 19 points to pace the Clippers, who have lost three of their past five. Chris Paul collected 17 points, 10 assists and five rebounds for Los Angeles (42-23). DeAndre Jordan finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Wesley Johnson and Austin Rivers also scored 11 points each.

"It was tough losing the game, period," Jordan said. "But to lose to a team like this and the way that we did, it is not our type of basketball. We started out the game great, then they kind of got into us a little bit, and we never really got back."

The Clippers slipped to 1 1/2 games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference race.   Continued...

 
March 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) moves to the basket as he is fouled by Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports