LOS ANGELES — The Cavaliers finished their 116-102 loss to the Clippers undermanned on Friday night after two of Cleveland’s rotation players — Rodney Hood and Cedi Osman — left the game early because of injuries.
“Messed our rotation up a lot, but that’s part of the game,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “Injuries are part of the game. Next man step up and play.”
Hood, the Cavs’ starting small forward, played seven minutes in the first quarter before exiting with a strained back, finishing with zero points on 0 for 3 shooting.
Hood did not speak to reporters following the game.
Osman, Cleveland’s backup small forward, had three points and a steal in 11 minutes before straining his left hip and leaving the game in the third quarter.
“I tried to run and then I heard a pop from my groin,” Osman told ESPN. “I felt pain and I couldn’t run.
“Right now, when I’m walking and when I try to lift my leg up, I feel pain.”
Osman said he felt the same groin pain on Monday in the Cavs’ 112-90 home win over the Detroit Pistons, but he played through it. He received treatment on the injury in the four days leading up to the game versus the Clippers.
Osman was unsure whether he would be able to play Sunday, when the Cavs continue their six-game trip against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Friday’s loss dropped the Cavs’ record to 6-5 in the 11 games logged with the four players they acquired at last month’s trade deadline.
Cleveland’s All-Star power forward Kevin Love has missed all of those games with a broken left hand.
The Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan abused the Cavs inside Friday night, totaling 20 points and 23 rebounds. L.A. outrebounded Cleveland 52-40 as a team and outscored the Cavs 58-42 in the paint.
“A lot of teams are hurt,” Lue said. “It’s tough when you’re missing guys, but tonight we could’ve used Kevin. Space DeAndre out a little bit at the 5. Get him out of the paint, protecting the paint. But, you know, next man up — got to be ready to play.”