The young players on the Clippers Summer League roster had shown flashes of their talent, but they had yet to get a win in either of their first two games. Much of that could be attributed to their shooting percentage, particularly in the showing against the Blazers Tuesday night. While their talent was even more visible in tonight’s game against the Lakers, it still wasn’t enough to win, losing 84-86 in a nailbiter.
The Clippers came out with energy and a polished game, a stark contrast from their two previous performances. While turnovers did prove costly, they consistently got good looks for a variety of players on offense. Daniel Oturu and Brandon Boston led the way, scoring 12 points combined in just the first quarter. The Clippers excelled on the defensive end as well, with Oturu and Scrubb chipping in two blocks each out of the team’s first half total of eight. Boston continued his impressive scoring into the second quarter, hitting a stepback and-one 3-pointer that brought life to the court during an offensive lull.
Though they couldn’t find a reliable source for points in the second quarter other than Boston, the Clippers kept it close. The game was a lot closer than the seven point deficit going into halftime suggested, with the Lakers lead being just four points until Austin Reaves hit a long last second three.
Both teams began the second half with aggressiveness, but regular turnovers and unnecessary fouls prevented the Clippers from getting into a consistent flow on either end of the court. Despite that, they went into the fourth quarter down by just four. Their work on the offensive glass may have saved them from falling into too deep of a hole, grabbing 14 by the end of the game, which led to many easy putback buckets. They also shared the ball at a stellar rate, dishing out 22 assists for open three pointers and easy layups. Their solid play continued into the fourth, and the Clippers gained the lead after cutting down on careless turnovers.
It was a back and forth game until the last second, but the numerous turnovers and poor free throw shooting (they shot just 35.7% from the line) was ultimately too much for the Clippers to recover from, losing 84-86. Brandon Boston’s last second three pointer failed to connect, and though Jason Preston had some late game heroics, a win still slipped out of their hands. Now, there’s one more chance against the Jazz to end the Summer League season with a victory.