LOS ANGELES — The LA Clippers — with six players scoring in double figures — kept themselves alive in the Western Conference playoff hunt with a 116-102 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night. DeAndre Jordan finished with 20 points and 23 rebounds — including seven offensive — to help the Clippers outscore the Cavaliers 58-42 in the paint.
“We obviously lost our last game, a close one, but we need to win every game that we can,” Jordan said after the game. “The race is extremely close and we want to try and win games and get better at the same time.”
Montrzl Harrell added 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting, extending his streak of double-digit scoring to eight games.
“It’s been great, you just learn more and more about him as you coach him,” Doc Rivers said of Harrell’s progression. “You never know a guy until you coach a guy, and when we got him,we looked at him as an energy guy and a guy that can defend. That is what he did everywhere he’s been, and then every practice he gets in, he keeps scoring and scoring. We start to think, ‘maybe he can score a little bit’, and he’s been better than that, it’s been great and he just plays hard too.”
LeBron James finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
“He did a really good job, he was physical on him,” Tobias Harris said of Sindarius Thornwell‘s defense on James. “He just gave him different looks, and gave him a lot of pressure. LeBron was able to make some plays, and do what he does on the court, but basically made a lot of his looks hard, and contested [his shots], so that was really impactful for us.”
Thornwell scored a career-high 14 points.
The Clippers host the Orlando Magic Saturday night in a home back-to-back.
“We can’t lose to the [Orlando] Magic because that just erases everything we did tonight,” Austin Rivers said. “We can’t go .500 in the [Western Conference]right now, that’s not going to cut it. We need to win these games back-to-back. Tonight was a huge game and we can feel good for the next hour or two,but we’ve got to move on.”