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First Half Update: Austin Rivers Lifts Clippers With 18 Early Points

The Clippers are surviving without Blake Griffin

NBA: Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into tonight’s game, I would have expected a very low-scoring contest. The Utah Jazz aren’t a team full of offensive weapons, and they’re without Rudy Gobert, Rodney Hood, and Joe Johnson. The Clippers, a more competent offensive team when healthy, are without most of their firepower as Patrick Beverley, Milos Teodosic, Danilo Gallinari, and Blake Griffin are all sidelined with various injuries.

So, I’m pretty surprised to see a 61-61 halftime score. Thankfully, Austin Rivers picked up the load in the first half, scoring 18 points and dishing out 5 assists to lift the Clippers’ offense. Still, it’s hard to see LAC thriving to this extent on offense consistently with so many players missing, so they’ll need to step up the defensive intensity. It’s hard to find where 120 points are going to come out of this roster, so they need final scores in a lower bracket if they want a chance to win games during this stretch.