Five takeaways from the Clippers’ 116-102 win over Cleveland
The Clippers knocked off LeBron James and the Cavaliers 116-102 Friday night at Staples Center. Here ars five takeaways from the victory:
1. He had fallen out of the Clippers rotation after a sensational start to his rookie year, his confidence falling along the way.
But there was Sindarius Thornwell on Friday night being asked to not only start for the Clippers, but to defend the best basketball player on the planet in Cleveland’s LeBron James.
Thornwell accepted the challenge and scored a career-high 14 points on five-for-nine shooting, one-for-three on three-pointers. Coincidentally, his previous career best had been 13 and that also came against the Cavaliers.
He had last started a game Dec. 15 at Washington. But this start was different because the Clippers are in a race for a Western Conference playoff spot, and Thornwell did his part to help his team maintain its position as the eighth seed.
His defense on James was solid. James did score 25 points on 11-for-20 shooting. But Thornwell was with James every step of the way. Thornwell also had four rebounds, one blocked shot and a steal, and he was a plus-21 in the plus-minus category.
2. It didn’t take Montrezl Harrell long to put his fingerprints on the game. He scored 12 of his 20 points in the second quarter, playing with his usual high energy and supreme effort. It was the eighth consecutive game Harrell has scored in double figures, the longest streak of his career.
3. DeAndre Jordan was a beast on the backboards again.
Jordan had 23 rebounds, seven offensive. It was the 11th time this season he has had 20-plus rebounds in a game. He did it in 13 games during the 2014-15 season, his career best.
Jordan was eight-for-16 from the free-throw line, including three-for-six in the fourth quarter when the Cavaliers employed the Hack-a-D.J. strategy.
4. The Clippers shared the basketball, handing out 25 assists on 43 made field goals. Lou Williams led the Clippers with seven assists and Austin Rivers and Milos Teodosic had six each.
5. The Clippers made 39.3% of their three-pointers, going 11-for-28. Tobias Harris led the way by going five-for-10 from three-point range.
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