Cleveland Cavaliers at Los Angeles Clippers, Game 65 preview and listings

Cleveland Cavaliers’ Larry Nance Jr shields the ball against Detroit Pistons’ James Ennis

Cleveland Cavaliers’ Larry Nance Jr shields the ball against Detroit Pistons’ James Ennis

Cleveland's younger Nance made a name for himself on Monday night.

When the two teams faced off for the first time this season, on November 17 in Cleveland, the Clippers were in good position to earn their second win over LeBron and Co. on the road since James arrived in the league.

LeBron James' inner circle - the people he trusts to help him make decisions, the people privy to his thinking - is small and tight-lipped. Larry Nance Jr. played a key role for Cleveland with 22 points and 15 rebounds. If he keeps playing as he has in the past week, Nance could get the better of this matchup, but if the big Serb decides to turn it on, he could win Denver the game. However, showing some of the same confidence he did when rating his game, James said he isn't paying attention to seeding. "The guys were giving me all the opportunity in the world to make shots, and I just happened to be making them". He added 13 boards (nine defensive, four offensive) as well as the Nuggets almost pulled off the comeback and stun the Cavs twice in a week.

LeBron James loses control of the ball under pressure from Detroit Pistons’ Reggie Bullock
LeBron James loses control of the ball under pressure from Detroit Pistons’ Reggie Bullock

That leaves the Rockets and Lakers. I didn't even know that. That's quite okay, though, because they know what it takes to get out of the East and should be the favorites to represent the conference again this year.

"Whatever it was, I just wasn't that comfortable shooting them in L.A.", he said. I feel like every game's a must-win. He is now second in the league in fourth quarter scoring overall and leads all players (with a baseline of at least five appearances, an extremely low qualifying number) in * a href="https://stats.nba.com/players/clutch-traditional/?sort=PTS&dir=-1&CF=GP*GE*5&Season=2017-18&SeasonType=Regular%20Season" *clutch scoring, per nba.com. The Cavs turned trade season on its head based upon how James played - or didn't - for a month in the middle of the season. Blake Griffin scored 25 for the Pistons, who lost their ninth straight road game. The Pistons haven't won on the road since January 10. He scored 39 against the Clippers back in November, including 19 in the fourth quarter and overtime.

For the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic was clearly their best player. Gary Harris is averaging 17.9 points and three assists while Jamal Murray is averaging 16.3 points and 3.5 assists. In that time, their win-loss record is 3-4 with an average point differential of 1.1. "He's talented. He's got a high ceiling". But the Nuggets cleaned up their game in the second quarter. Drummond and Griffin were both assessed technicals against the Cavs. (Kevin O'Connor of the Ringer, who had that report, is smart and well connected, he isn't just throwing speculation out there.) Those are the four teams most discussed around the league as possible destinations, but I'd be shocked if it were LeBron and his team actually tipping their hand. "It's very hard to play like that".

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