Cavs 98, Clippers 84 --As you would expect without their two best players and playing on a back-to-back, the Clips crashed down the stretch. Their legs got heavy and it showed when they tried to jump. On the other end, the Cavs seemed to warm up as the game went on. As a result the natural order of things was restored. --LeBron said his ankle isn't feeling that well but he felt he had to play because if the Cavs lost to the Sonics and then the Clippers it would've negated the wins in L.A. and Portland. He didn't seem to show too many ill effects, but he was hopefully he'd be much better by Tuesday's game. --The Cavs won the second half rebounding battle 32-11. Which is closer to what you'd expect with Chris Kaman out and Josh Powell playing center. --Funny moment after the game. Zydrunas Ilgauskas is being interviewed on the P.A. system and Mike Snyder says "Z, this was your 20th double-double." Then Z says, "21st actually." He was right, it is 21. Who says these guys don't care about their stats.
Clippers: Sam Cassell, Cuttino Mobley, Quinton Ross, Tim Thomas, Josh Powell Cavs: Larry Hughes, Ira Newble, LeBron James, Drew Gooden, Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Officials Joe DeRosa, Matt Boland, David Jones
--LeBron worked out before the game and determined he could go. He doesn't look like he'll be 100 percent, but he shouldn't have to be to win tonight. --Chris Kaman and Corey Maggette have been out with injuries. Both are on the active roster, but it doesn't look like either are going to play. There's not much there for the Clippers considering Elton Brand is also out. Thornton has been playing well of late, too. --Clippers are hurt and tired coming off a loss last night in Minnesota, so the Cavs would be wise to try to jump on them early.
Halftime -- Clippers 47, Cavs 45 --Can you imagine if LeBron wasn't playing? --Not a whole lot of energy being shown by the Cavs in this one, which is somewhat typical coming back from the West Coast. But, folks, the Clippers have nine guys in uniform and one of them is Dan Dickau. The Cavs are being outrebounded, which tells you all you need to know. Also, they have just two second-chance points. Not their usual effort level, especially against the likes of Aaron Williams and Josh Powell. --LeBron attacked the basket in the first quarter and got eight free throws, then in the second he started hoisting up 3s. In fact, all the Cavs are. The other night in Seattle they shot them because they were way behind. Tonight they've taken 14 already. They are below .500 when they take more than 20 3s on the season. This is especially stupid because Z and Drew are actually making headway working out of the post. --Damon Jones played a very productive 10 minutes, he hit a 3 and had four assists. He is the closest thing to a true point guard the Cavs have in their rotation. --Al Thornton is pretty talented at scoring the ball, and he's upset about not being named to the rookie game. It is showing.
Stars LeBron 28 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists Z, 22 points, 13 rebounds Al Thornton, 23 points, seven rebounds
Quotes LeBron: "This was a tough game, it was almost like a road game because we had some jet lag. We just had to get some energy and we were able to pull it out." Mike Brown: "They had some guys out and it was human nature to let down a bit. They are in a tough situation, they were missing a lot of guys and they did what they were supposed to, they fought."