Five takeaways from the Clippers' 126-121 loss to the Cavaliers

Five takeaways from the Clippers' 126-121 loss to the Cavaliers
Clippers point guard Chris Paul tries to cut off a drive by Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving in the third quarter. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The Clippers lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 126-121, on Friday. Here are five takeaways from the game.

1) The Clippers' defense did not look too good


The Clippers allowed the Cavaliers to score 126 points and lead by as many as 10 points, their biggest advantage of the game, in the fourth quarter. Kyrie Irving scored 37 points and LeBron James added 32 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said that trio just had a great shooting night, but he also said the Clippers could have done a much better job defensively.

"Once Kyrie and LeBron got it going at the same time, we've got to have a better answer," he said.

2) Austin Rivers plays for his father

The Clippers made history Friday night when Austin Rivers took the court, making him the first NBA player to be coached in a game by his father. Austin, who was traded to the team on Thursday, cleared waivers late Friday afternoon and wasn't even able to participate in a team shootaround before he played. He finished scoreless on zero-for-four shooting from the field.

"[It was his] first game and [he] hasn't played in a week," Doc Rivers said.

3) The Clippers are in no rush to acquire another player

In part of the deal to get Austin Rivers, the Clippers traded Reggie Bullock to the Phoenix Suns and Chris Douglas-Roberts to the Boston Celtics. The team then waived backup guard Jordan Farmar to make space. Rivers said that dropping Farmar gives the Clippers a lot of flexibility, but he said the team was not feeling any pressure to make a hasty move.

"No rush," he said. "I keep saying it, I like our team. I like where we're headed."

4) The starters played heavy minutes

Doc Rivers was forced to play his starters heavy minutes for the second game in a row because the team has a very short bench right now. Rivers sat out Douglas-Roberts, Bullock and Farmar in Wednesday's win over Portland in anticipation of their departures, meaning the starters had to pick up the slack. Then on Friday, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin each played over 40 minutes. Rivers acknowledged that playing Paul and Griffin heavy minutes is not going to be sustainable.

"I dont like it and that'll change," he said.

5) The Clippers brace for back-to-back games

After losing to the Cavs, the Clippers will play the Sacramento Kings on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the second leg of the back-to-back. The Clippers then host the Boston Celtics on Monday in a game with a 12:30 p.m. start. Rivers said he's going to need to rest the starters a bit during this somewhat hectic period.

"The bench will have to play better for sure in this stretch," he said.