Cleveland Cavaliers Proving They’re Among NBA’s Elite

January 21st, 2016 by Dan Favale Leave a reply »

If the Cleveland Cavaliers were guilty of anything during their 34-point loss to the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 18, it was that they aren't, nor will they ever be, the Golden State Warriors.

But they are still an elite basketball team, one of the NBA's four most convincing title contenders, and they proved—nay, reiterated—as much during a 115-102 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena.

Some will drape this victory in disclaimers. Los Angeles was missing Blake Griffin for a 12th straight game as he continues to recover from a partially torn left quadriceps tendon. But the Clippers were 10-1 and owners of the league's third-best net rating through their first 11 tilts without him.

So this was a legitimate win against a worthy Chris Paul-led foe—a statement of everything the Cavaliers are during a miniature stretch that's sought to exploit all they are not.

Kevin Love in particular played with a chip on his shoulder. He turned in subpar efforts during recent losses to the Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, shooting a combined 5-of-15 from th ...

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