Clippers bring pizzazz, look for payback vs. Cavs
Tipoff: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, 8 p.m.
Records: Cavaliers 30-20; Clippers 33-16.
TV: TNT. Radio: WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS, 87.7 FM La Mega, AM 1590 WAKR (Akron)
Clippers: C DeAndre Jordan; PF Blake Griffin; SF Matt Barnes; SG Jamal Crawford; PG Chris Paul.
Cavaliers: C Timofey Mozgov; PF Kevin Love; SF LeBron James; SG J.R. Smith; PG Kyrie Irving.
Clippers: SG J.J. Redick (back) doubtful.
Cavaliers: C Anderson Varejao (Achilles) out.
1. The Clippers are tied with the Rockets for the fourth playoff seed in the West. Now would be a good time for the Clips to make a move -- as the Rockets will be without injured star center Dwight Howard for a while.
2. Granted, there's still a lot of basketball to be played. A lot of things can be happen. But it's about at the 50-game mark that teams really try to get their act together. This is game 50 for the Clippers and 51 for the Cavs.
3. Offensively, the Clippers are a joy to watch. Chris Paul is the consummate point guard, unselfishly playing both ends and capable of taking over on an individual basis. Throw in Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and others, and LA remains Lob City, baby.
4. Meanwhile, the Cavs haven't been too shabby themselves lately. This whole 11-game winning streak started in LA. First, with a win over the Lakers -- then the next night with a 126-121 win over the Clippers. The last one took place without Kevin Love. It also seemed to be when the Cavs started to believe they could get this thing straightened out.
5. That said, this is a dangerous game for the Cavs. They Clippers are still steaming after losing on a last-second shot by Jarrett Jack in Brooklyn the other night. The Cavs are due for an off night. Plus, the Clippers remember the Cavs beating them on their own floor. This is their lone shot at payback.
6. Love, by the way, leads the Cavs with 27 double-doubles.
7. During the winning streak, LeBron James is averaging 28.8 points on .496 shooting. He is also passing for 6.7 assists.
8. Longtime Clippers play-by-play man Ralph Lawler has a famous saying: "First team to 100 wins." That often seems to the case. If it's the Cavs, that's bad news for the Clips. After all, the Cavs are 14-0 at home when hitting at least 100 (and 23-4 overall).