CLEVELAND (AP) Upon arriving at Quicken Loans Arena, the Cavaliers received commemorative watches, the latest gifts to celebrate their NBA championship.
The Los Angeles Clippers then handed them a second straight loss.
J.J. Redick scored 23 points, Blake Griffin matched a career high with 11 assists and the Clippers bounced back from a brutal loss with a 113-94 victory on Thursday night over the Cavs, who have lost two straight for the first time since winning their title.
Afterward, there was no panic inside Cleveland’s locker room, but rather a measured response to the first real adversity this season. The Cavs also lost in Milwaukee on Tuesday, but LeBron James isn’t worried – yet.
”Two pretty poor games for sure,” said James, who scored 16 but had five turnovers. ”You’re hoping they’re not back-to-back, but it happens. Now, three games in a row? That’s something to talk about. We need to figure it out. It’s different from football where you have to wait a whole week to redeem yourself.
”We get right back at it tomorrow night so we’ll be all right.”
Chris Paul shook off some early foul trouble and scored 16 and DeAndre Jordan had 15 rebounds for the Clippers, who came in hungry after blowing an 18-point lead and falling in double overtime at Brooklyn on Tuesday.
”It’s who we are, I really believe that,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. ”We actually played to our potential. We had some adversity, which is great. Chris got in foul trouble and we extend the lead. It was a team win.”
Los Angeles took control with a 13-2 run to open the third quarter.
Kyrie Irving scored 28 and Kevin Love 16 for the Cavs, who were outplayed for the second game in a row. During Tuesday’s loss, coach Tyronn Lue pulled his starters in the second half and J.R. Smith wandered off the floor during play and gave…