Cleveland, OH (AP) - The Cleveland Cavaliers are sliding down the Eastern Conference standings, and their inconsistency and sputtering offense are beginning to frustrate All-Star LeBron James.
James and the Cavaliers look to start a turnaround Wednesday as they try to sweep the two-game season series from the Los Angeles Clippers.
Cleveland (27-21) has lost eight of its last 12 games to fall from first to fifth place in the East.
"I'm at a loss for words," James said after Sunday's 90-78 loss to Detroit. "One night we go out and score 100 and the next night we score 70."
James is questioning the club's defense-oriented philosophy, and believes the Cavs would be better off pushing the ball up the floor to quicken the game's tempo and score more points.
Cleveland has the eighth-worst scoring offense in the league at 95.9 points per game, and its 44.1 field-goal percentage ranks 26th.
"At the end of the day, if you don't put points on the board, you're not going to win basketball games," James said. "You can hold a team to 42 percent shooting, but if they make enough offensive plays and we don't, you're going to lose."
The Cavs, who beat Los Angeles 104-92 on Jan. 13 at the Staples Center as James scored 28 points, have not swept a season series with the Clippers since 2002-03.
James led the Cavs with just 21 points on Sunday, more than five below his 26.6 season average. The All-Star forward has struggled to find his shooting tough since missing Cleveland's loss to Golden State on Jan. 30, averaging 18.7 points on 41.5 percent shooting in three February games.
The Cavs opened the season 15-3 at Quicken Loans Arena, but have lost four of their last six home games.
Meanwhile, the Clippers (24-24) have won seven of their last 10 games overall but are 1-2 on their season-high seven-game road trip after falling 102-90 at New York on Tuesday.
Los Angeles led 53-43 at halftime, but allowed the Knicks to open the second half with a 24-4 run, turning a 10-point deficit into a 10-point lead in a span of 9 1/2 minutes.
"We pretty much had the game and we pretty much let it go in the second half," Clippers forward Elton Brand said. "Not coming out focused in the second half, on the road, you can't do that. We all know teams are going to get back in it."
Brand had 22 points and 13 rebounds for his third straight double-double. He's averaging 23.0 points and 14.0 boards in the first three games of the road trip.