Things aren’t getting consistently better for the Cavaliers. They scrape, they grind, they win a couple, they get blown out. In Friday’s debacle in Atlanta, Kyrie Irving scored 0 points on 0-of-9 shooting (and 0-of-3 from the free-throw line). Needless to say, the game was never close. Now Irving gets to face the Clippers’ Chris Paul, perhaps the best point guard in the NBA. At some point, and probably soon, the Cavs need to pull themselves together. The wheels are coming dangerously close to coming off. Venue: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland. TV/Radio: 7:30 p.m. EST, FOX Sports Ohio/WTAM
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LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (13-7) C DeAndre Jordan PF Blake Griffin SF Jared Dudley SG Willie Green PG Chris Paul
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (6-13) C Andrew Bynum PF Tristan Thompson SF Alonzo Gee SG C.J. Miles PG Kyrie Irving
• Former Cavs forward Antawn Jamison is averaging 6.0 points and 3.2 rebounds off the Clippers’ bench.
• The Clippers are coming off a 101-81 win at Memphis on Thursday. “It’s one game,” Paul said after. “It will be interesting to see how we respond in Cleveland.”
• The Cavs have been at their worst in the third quarters this season, averaging 22.4 points in those 12 minutes. They have been outscored 65-30 in the third in their last two losses. The Clippers, on the other hand, have overcome halftime deficits four times, including twice on the road.
• The Clippers’ bench is outscoring opponents by 20.0 points over the last five games.
• All six of the Cavs’ back-to-backs have come on Friday-Saturday. They’ve won three of those (all on Saturday).
• The Clippers are 5-5 on the road. New coach Doc Rivers got his 600th win Thursday. New coach Doc Rivers picked up his 600th win Thursday.