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National Basketball Association
L.A. Clippers 116, Cleveland 102
When: 10:30 PM ET, Friday, March 9, 2018
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Officials: #64 Justin Van Duyne, #30 John Goble, #61 Courtney Kirkland
Attendance: 19130
Establishing a 35-17 first quarter lead Friday night, the Los Angeles Clippers lived off it for the game's final three quarters en route to a 116-102 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Six players scored in double figures for the Clippers, led by Tobias Harris with 23 points and reserve forward Montrezl Harrell with 20 points. DeAndre Jordan was dominant inside with 20 points and 23 rebounds, while Lou Williams and Austin Rivers added 15 points apiece. Rookie Sindarius Thornwell chipped in 14.

LeBron James scored a game-high 25 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and doled out six assists to lead Cleveland, but also committed five turnovers. Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to add 21 points, while Larry Nance contributed 16 points and 12 rebounds. J.R. Smith tallied 15 points and George Hill potted 10.

The Clippers took the lead for good less than three minutes into the game on two free throws by Thornwell, part of a 9-0 spurt. Los Angeles ended the period with an 18-6 run, with Williams draining a 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left to build the 18-point lead that the Cavaliers couldn't overcome.

The game's final 36 minutes took on a simple plot -- Cleveland made a run and the Clippers kept them at bay. The Cavaliers drew within 42-33 with 7:51 left in the first half on a 4-point play by Clarkson, but Los Angeles expanded the advantage back to 19 before settling for a 61-47 lead at halftime.

Cleveland made its most meaningful push late in the third quarter, peeling off 12 straight points and pulling within 81-77 when James drove for a transition layup with 1:39 remaining. But Harrell canned two free throws and dunked in the final minute to give the Clippers an eight-point lead after three periods.

The Cavaliers never got closer than eight in the fourth quarter, with Los Angeles icing the outcome on Harris' 3-pointer with 1:46 remaining that made it 114-102.

Cleveland's lead over Indiana in the Central Division dropped to a half-game, while the Clippers remained in a three-way virtual tie with Denver and Utah for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
 
Cleveland   L.A. Clippers
LeBron James 25 Scoring Tobias Harris 23
LeBron James 6 Assists Lou Williams 7
Larry Nance Jr. 12 Rebounds DeAndre Jordan 23
Jordan Clarkson 5 Free Throws Made DeAndre Jordan 8
JR Smith 3 Steals Austin Rivers 3
LeBron James 3 Blocks Montrezl Harrell 1
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Cleveland 102 44.8 12-36 12-18 22 40 7 10 13
L.A. Clippers 116 48.3 11-28 19-30 25 52 3 6 14
Upcoming Games
  • L.A. Clippers will play their next game at home against Orlando. The Clippers have a W/L % of .647 after a win and .433 after a loss.
  • Cleveland will play their next game on the road against L.A. Lakers. The Cavaliers have a W/L % of .590 after a win and .577 after a loss.