Cavaliers hold off Clippers in crunch time

The Clippers lose to the Cavaliers in the third game of their road trip, breaking a five-game winning streak.

It nearly came down to the wire when the Clippers attempted a late rally against the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday night. 

The Cavaliers, who remain undefeated at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in January, defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 118-110 in a nail-biter.

Evan Mobley, who played in his first game Monday since recovering from arthroscopic left knee surgery, scored 10 points for Cleveland while Donovan Mitchell led with 28. 

Meanwhile, the Clippers struggled to keep their engine hot throughout the game. Paul George and James Harden combined to score 24 points while shooting 31% (6-19) from the floor. 

Turning point: Cleveland took a 28-25 lead into the second quarter after the Clippers went 0-7 from deep. Six turnovers from LA allowed for 15 second chance points for Cleveland after the first half. 

A 7-0 Cavaliers run to end the third made things dim for the Clippers. When it came down to the clutch, the Clippers went small. The strategy seemed to work for a bit of time before some missed LA free throws allowed Cleveland to go away with the win.

What it means: The Clippers fall to 2-1 in their season-long seven-game road series (30-15 on the season). Their five-game win streak comes to an end before their next bout with the Washington Wizards. LA now sits in the fourth seed spot in the Western Conference Standings.

Hits: Norman Powell played a key role off the bench for the Clippers. In 28 minutes, Powell scored 18 points on 6-13 (46.2%) shooting from the field and 4-7 (57.1%) from the three-point line. He was the first Clippers player to reach double digit points Monday against Cleveland. 

Misses: LA collected 13 turnovers on the night that allowed for 18 points from the Cavaliers. Four of those turnovers came back-to-back in just the second quarter. 

Outside of turnovers, the Clippers also struggled from beyond the arc again after initially going through a rut in Boston. LA, who averages 39% made three-pointers this season, shot just 32% (11-34) Monday.

Stat of the game: Leonard had a game-high 30-point night against Cleveland. He finished the night with eight rebounds, three assists  and two steals in 37 minutes. Leonard also went 13-25 from the field (52%) to lead the Clippers and even put up some big baskets in the clutch for LA.

Up next: Washington is the next step for the Clippers on their road trip as they face the Wizards Wednesday. Los Angeles will then visit the Detroit Pistons Friday. The Clippers seven-game road series ends next week with a back-to-back featuring the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks Feb. 4 and 5, respectively.