April 15, 2014

With Kyrie Irving leading the way, the Cleveland Cavaliers have continued their recent mastery of Western Conference teams while putting aside last month's road woes.

After playing two of the West's lowlier clubs, the Cavaliers will step up in competition Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers, one of the league's most successful teams against the East.

Irving has totaled 56 points in the first two of four games out West and had 26 in a 120-108 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. The point guard is also averaging 25.8 points and shooting 53.5 percent in his past four contests.

"I feel like this is a perfect time to find my rhythm, especially on this road trip," he said. "Over the last few games, I have tried to be aggressive and live off the confidence my teammates have in me."

The Cavaliers (46-18) are 10-1 in their last 11 against the West, a stretch that began with a 115-102 win over the Clippers on Jan. 21 and followed a 132-98 drubbing by Golden State on Jan. 18 that heavily contributed to coach David Blatt's firing. They have also won in eight of their last nine visits to those teams.

Cleveland is also 5-1 since losing three of four to close February, and could get Kevin Love back after a one-game absence due to knee issues.

Channing Frye had a season-high 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting in his place Thursday.

"Hopefully, Kevin comes back but I'm going to go out and be ready regardless," Frye said.

The Cavaliers will try to add a fourth consecutive win over the Clippers (42-22). They went 13 of 28 from 3-point range and shot 50.6 percent overall in the victory in January.

That loss was one of just four in Los Angeles' last 21 games against East opponents, and the Clippers are 20-7 in interconference play.

"(Cleveland is) tough. They're playing good basketball. They have so many players who can make players. That makes them so dangerous," coach Doc Rivers said. "It's going to be a tough matchup for us."

The Clippers topped New York 101-94 on Friday after blowing a 15-point lead, their third win in four home contests.

"I think I have said this for 10 years, but people do not respect how hard it is to win a game in this league," Rivers said. "Just because a team has a bad record - and you have everything to play for - they didn't just wake up this morning and say: 'Let's lose.'"

Chris Paul had 24 points and has 31 assists his last two games after dishing out 15 on Friday. J.J. Redick reached the 20-point mark in his third straight.

Paul, averaging 23.4 points on 51.7 percent shooting in his last seven games, had 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting in the loss in Cleveland.

Irving scored 37 in the Cavaliers' most recent road game against the Clippers, a 126-121 victory Jan. 16, 2015. LeBron James provided 32 points and has scored 30 or more in each of his last three visits.

Cleveland has won in six of its past eight road games against the Clippers.

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