News » Los Angeles Clippers Getting Inside 2009-03-11

Los Angeles Clippers Getting Inside 2009-03-11

Los Angeles Clippers Getting Inside 2009-03-11
The Clippers can take one of two paths away from their recent encounter with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Either the Clippers can be buoyed by the fact that, for three quarters, they controlled arguably the NBA's best team.

Or, the Clippers can regret that they had the powerful Cavaliers on the ropes but allowed the game to slip away when Cleveland outscored them by 21 points in the fourth quarter.

The latter option only would add to the disheartening spirit that has enveloped the organization all season and hastened a recent locker room visit by the owner Donald T. Sterling, who chastised the players behind closed doors.

But by taking the view that they nearly knocked off their second elite Eastern Conference team in two weeks, and knowing that it came with all but one of their key players available to play, the Clippers can put a positive spin on a disappointing night.

Two weeks ago, the Clippers knocked off the defending NBA champion Boston Celtics. But poor shot selection in the fourth quarter and poor decision-making cost the Clippers a golden opportunity at upsetting the Cavaliers, who are tied with the Lakers for the best record in the league.

It also would have been a great way for the Clippers to head into a three-day period in which they don't play a game. Their next contest is on the road against the Denver Nuggets, a team that has been reeling of late. It will be a return visit for Clippers post player Marcus Camby, who spent six years with the Nuggets and was the NBA's defensive player of the year in 2007, while with Denver.

It also will be a reunion for Denver guard Jason Hart, whom the Nuggets recently signed after he requested and was granted his release by the Clippers.

The game at Denver initiates the start of a stretch in which the Clippers play 10 of 13 games on the road.

In a strange schedule quirk, the Clippers and Nuggets only play twice this season, despite the fact that they are Western Conference rivals. The teams met in October in Denver and the Nuggets won to extend their streak to four consecutive victories over the Clippers, dating back to last year.

The Clippers' best year against Denver was in 2005-2006, when they won three of the four meetings between the teams during the regular season, then ousted the Nuggets in five games in the first-round of the playoffs.

CAVALIERS 87, CLIPPERS 83: The visiting Cavaliers swallowed up what had been a 19-point Clippers' lead in the fourth quarter to hand the home team one of their most bitter defeats of the season. The victory gave Cleveland a two-game season sweep of the Clippers for the third consecutive year.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 11, 2009


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