CLEVELAND (AP) The Los Angeles Clippers' latest victory in a torrid March came the hard way. While happy to leave town on a high note, coach Doc Rivers knew his team caught a break Friday night in a 110-108 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers(cheap Cleveland Cavaliers championship rings
) that was in doubt until Jordan Clarkson's 3-point attempt from the top of the key hit off the back rim as time ran out.
''We were supposed to foul on that last play, but didn't,'' Rivers said. ''And we just got lucky they missed the shot.'' Danilo Gallinari led Los Angeles with 27 points. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 16, while Lou Williams had 15 for the Clippers, who are 9-1 this month and closing in on a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Los Angeles, which began the night eighth in the conference, hung on in the final seconds after leading by six points with just under two minutes to play. Patrick Beverley split a pair of free throws with 6 left, giving the Clippers(nhl championship rings for sale
) a two-point lead.
Clarkson took the inbounds pass and dribbled as the clock ticked down. ''I thought it was in,'' he said. ''It happens. It's part of the game. I was open and we got a good shot.'' Kevin Love scored 22 points for Cleveland, which trailed 94-83 early in the fourth quarter. Clarkson and rookie Collin Sexton each had 20. Cleveland trailed 108-102 with just under two minutes to play, but baskets by Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. cut the lead to two with 37 seconds left. Beverley missed a 3-pointer, but the Clippers grabbed the rebound and Landry Shamet made one of two free throws with 13 seconds to play.
Love scored in the lane with 10 seconds left to cut the lead to one before Beverley's free throw. Los Angeles didn't lead until early in the third. Beverley's tip-in midway through the period broke a 73-all tie. The Clippers play their next three games(championship sports rings
) on the road, including a meeting with Milwaukee, which has the league's best record. ''We treat every game as a business trip,'' Beverley said. ''You can have fun in the summertime. Right now, we're going for the highest seed we can get.'' Cleveland scored 40 points in the first quarter. The Cavaliers had won four straight at home, including victories over Detroit and Milwaukee. The Pistons were playing without Blake Griffin, while Giannis Antetokounmpo sat out for the Bucks.
Sexton had scored more than 23 points in seven straight games, surpassing a mark for rookies last accomplished by Tim Duncan in 1998.