Bojan Bogdanovic slams an entry dunk but the Clippers respond with a 10-0 with Kawhi Leonard and Marcus Morris who have already set the sights at 3-points and Paul George who strikes halfway. Mike Conley still absent, Donovan Mitchell and Royce O’Neale try to calm things down but George drives the point home and Los Angeles already creates a gap at 18-6.
Like this illegal screen of Royce O’Neale which puts Terance Mann on the carpet, the Jazz is not in place and is logically left behind. At 6/21 on shots including 1/7 on 3-pointers, Utah tore offensively in the first quarter while Leonard and his Clippers were much more effective at 9/22 on shots, including 6/12 on 3-points (30 -13).
Kawhi Leonard décapite Derrick Favors !
Luke Kennard passed the gap to his twenties from the first action, to 3 points. Joe Ingles replied, but Paul George also had the answer from afar. The Jazz forgot themselves defensively and Nicolas Batum found Mann all alone under the circle, who scored the basket plus the late fault of Georges Niang. Conversely, everything is rolling for the Clippers with Reggie Jackson finding rhythm and George achieving a special slalom before going to dunk! Kawhi Leonard is overbidding the dunk by crushing poor Favors on one of the major actions of these playoffs!
Despite 21 points from Mitchell, including 17 in 9 minutes in the 2nd quarter, plus a 3/3 3-point Ingles, the Jazz failed to keep pace with the Clippers. Leonard (19 points) and George (15 points) are loyal to the position, and they receive a huge helping hand from Morris who is 22 points at the break, an excellent 6/8 on shots including a perfect 5/5 3-point. Utah is struggling, dropped to -24 at halftime (68-44).
The Clippers in control
The Jazz resumed the game from the right end after returning from the locker room, with a 12-3 well led by Mitchell. Rudy Gobert against Leonard and Utah concludes the transition game on a 3-point from Bogdanovic.
There is better for the visitors who come back under the twenty points difference but Los Angeles responds without delay. And it goes through the defense also with Batum then Leonard who pose big blocks when George takes off for a stealth dunk. The latter is everywhere, with a 3-point and a layup after staggered support. The gap has returned to + 20 …
And he will stay there until the last quarter, even taking a point more while Gobert takes a technical foul. The tricolor pivot evacuates his frustration a little more on a big two-handed dunk in stride but the Clippers remain off with Leonard at 27 points and Zubac who emerges for the tap on the bell (94-73). Mitchell is at 30 points but he is too lonely at the mark, and the two Californian catches have forced him to lose 5 balls already.
Little concern for Kawhi Leonard’s knee
The Clippers kept their foot on the accelerator to open the final quarter, with Jackson serving Zubac perfectly thrown full ball for a left hand dunk. Gobert answers him tit for tat at the alley-oop, on the next possession but if he passes a 7-0, the Jazz can not chain the stops, while Zubac and George in their turn connect to the alley-oop .
Patrick Beverley is also making his own with his defense on Mitchell and Clarkson. He forces Mitchell to two stray bullets and also counters him from behind on a small tear drop. The Jazz narrowed the gap a bit but the Clippers remained in control. Only small concern when Kawhi Leonard takes a little knee after contact with Ingles… Ty Lue puts him back on the bench 4 minutes from the end of the match, and the Jazz take the opportunity to return to -10 to two minutes from the end, on a 24-9 long course.
But the Clippers calmly finish the work on the throwing line, with Morris then George. The latter reached 31 points in the end, as Leonard and Los Angeles equalized by winning twice at home (118-104). The pressure has changed sides!