Morning After: Clippers sail past Cavaliers 108-78

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook celebrates after scoring a three-pointer against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre

REUTERS

The Cleveland Cavaliers handed the Los Angeles Clippers a gift on Saturday.

But the Clippers' domination of the Cavs' supporting cast added another chapter to the NBA's long-running debate on rest.

"We can afford anything; I mean you still have to beat us", he said when asked if the Cavaliers can afford to give away games. Maybe then he wouldn't have to sit out games in cities, like Memphis, that only get one chance to see him in person all year.

LeBron wasn't necessarily happy about the decision, but he didn't make a fuss about it and respected the move.

"Well, I've been part of six straight Finals and every single season and every single Finals has been bigger and bigger and bigger and better and better and more people have tuned in", James said. Love was coming off his first game back from knee surgery, and Iriving left the Cavs' game on Thursday with tightness in his knee and was feeling sore. While the two didn't spend much time matched up on defense, the two went shot for shot throughout the night on the offensive end. Five in seven are tough. "He was mad, but I just thought for him it was the right decision - not to go out there and try to carry the whole load by himself and playing more minutes". It's not the first time we've done it. I do it. We all do it.

Quotable - Coach Tyronn Lue, on giving his guys rest on Saturday night ... Lue said his three stars all will return tonight against the woeful Lakers. The Cavs' medical staff preferred he get two to three days of rest before his next game.

Griffin and Co. aren't too anxious about it and plan to fasten their seat belts down the stretch as they are aiming for their second straight championship. There's no guarantee Clarkson and Russell ever develop the kind of relationship it takes to win consistently. It's a bit of both. All five starters hit double figures. The Grizzlies also have 12 games remaining; the Thunder have 13.

Leading up to Saturday, the highly anticipated game against the Cavs was seen as a must-win for the Clippers. And I did it the other night in Denver. Golden State's Steve Kerr sat Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala for a showdown with San Antonio last week. The showcase is now an evening game.

I'm also a fan of the National Basketball Association in general and, being frank, the only reason we're still talking about this is because James, Irving and Love rested. "You advertise one thing and then you deliver a different product". It sounds so easy, but it is not, because it's hard to schedule around that. Studies have shown that players perform much better on the court when rested, and also they are 3.5 times more likely to be injured in the second game of a back-to-back (when muscle fatigue sets in).

Cavaliers: Shumpert played after spraining his left shoulder Thursday. Lue still hopes he can play on this road trip.

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