CLEVELAND — It was one thing for the Clippers to lose center DeAndre Jordan (strained right arch) and rookie Reggie Bullock (left ankle sprain) to injuries.
But it was another for the Clippers to display such poor body language and to let that affect their play during an 88-82 loss to the under-.500 Cleveland Cavaliers (7-13) on Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
"We did a lot of pouting today in the game, personally," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. "And you can't play that way. You've got to keep playing.
"I always call them 'emotional hijacks.' I thought we had a lot of that going on today, and that happens. But you've got to be able to pull yourself out of it, either individually or as a group. And I didn't think we did a good job of that."
The Clippers shot a season-low 32.2% from the field. They made only 20% (seven of 35) of their three-point shots.
Chris Paul had 13 points and 15 assists, but was only four for 16 from the field.
Blake Griffin had 10 points and 10 rebounds, but was only three for 12 from the field.
With no one able to make a shot, the Clippers scored only 16 points in the fourth quarter and let their poor shooting affect how they reacted during the game.
"And I thought that got us down," Rivers said. "When we become a good team, and if we become a good team, it'll be because we missed 30 shots in a row and you wouldn't know it. You just keep playing. You get some bad calls on you and you just keep playing.
"Right now, we're not at that point maturity-wise or whatever it is. When we go bad, then we start thinking bad. That's an area we have to grow."
As the Clippers began to miss more and more shots, they also grew frustrated.
Griffin and Anderson Varejao exchanged shoves, ending with a technical foul called on Griffin and Cleveland's Jarrett Jack for also getting called for a technical foul with 2:21 left.
Griffin said he set a screen when Varejao tried to run though him.
"It was extracurricular contact," Griffin said. "Then I pushed him."
The Clippers got down 10 points after a Kyrie Irving drive midway through the fourth quarter.
The deficit grew to 11 points in the fourth.
But they cut it to 85-82 on a Jamal Crawford three-pointer.
However, the Clippers hurt themselves late.
Dion Waiters made his first free throw, but missed the second.
The Clippers failed to get the rebound. It led to two more free throws by Irving (20 points) to seal the deal.
The Clippers are 1-2 on a seven-city, 11-day trip.
"We've got to play ball," Paul said. "We've got to stay together. This road trip just started for us. We're 1-2 right now. It's not going to get any easier. We take one step forward and the two steps back."
Twitter: @BA_TurnerCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times