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Cavs pull away from Clippers in overtime thriller after failing to lead in regulation; Three Takeaways

Scoreless start digs early rut

The Cavaliers found themselves in a 12-0 hole within four minutes, 45 seconds of the opening tipoff. James missed two free throws, the starters shot 0-of-10 from the field (0-of-4 from the perimeter) and Los Angeles shot 5-of-9 (2-of-4 from the perimeter), bringing a sold-out crowd to a hush.

“I don’t know if it was the (road) trip or not, but it was just like we were in quick sand,” head coach Tyronn Lue said. “We weren’t fast, we weren’t getting to the guys, getting to the ball.”

All facets of the game favored the Clippers, as former NCAA Tournament standout Sindarius Thornwell tallied five points, while DeAndre Jordan outmatched Love for four points and four rebounds in the paint.

“I think it was just getting to our second wind in that first quarter,” said Love. “I think when we started, we missed a dozen shots. It wasn’t pretty. After a long road trip like that, it can be tough.”

“A game like tonight is so tough because DeAndre is so athletic. We know what he does on the offensive and defensive glass.”

Blake Griffin failed to score throughout the one-sided run, but notched five rebounds and dished off a pair of assists, constantly keeping the heads of the home five on a swivel.

“You never want to dig yourself a hole,” Lue said. “We know we have to play better to start the games. The good thing is we continue to keep fighting.”

Whether it was a lackadaisical effort or the nature of facing a team trying to break out of a six-game losing skid, the Cavs appeared to be in a major funk on both sides of the ball in the early stages of the contest.

“I don’t know what it is,” said Love. “The start hasn’t been there for us consistently in games.”

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John Alfes is a senior at John Carroll University, and hails from Westlake, Ohio. His love and passion for the game of baseball originated in 1998, when he played catch with his father at the age of two. A former collegiate pitcher, Alfes currently serves as a Cleveland Cavaliers reporter for AP Radio/Metro Networks and the Cleveland Indians Beat Writer for CBS Sports/Scout Media Network, all while majoring in Communications (focus in Journalism) and English (focus in Professional Writing). He is the Sports Editor for The Carroll News, Sports Director for WJCU 88.7 FM and Senior Writer for the John Carroll Sports Information Department. John is an Eagle Scout and loves his two younger brothers (Conrad and Daniel) and two parents (John and Celeste). You can follow John Alfes on Twitter (@JohnAlfes) or reach him through email (jalfes18@jcu.edu).

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