Clippers drop a wire-to-wire loss to the Jazz, 121-92. From the jump, the Jazz looked poised, executed cleanly, and simply forgot how to miss.
And the Clippers, for much of this game, played like they forgot how to make shots. Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Norman Powell, who have been for much of the season and remain tonight on the injury roster, are running out of time to rejoin the team, this season.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, with seven points in the first five minutes, led the Jazz to a 17-4 lead early in the game. And while the Clippers responded to that hot hand with a 9-2 run of their own, Eric Paschall answered that by personally scoring in four straight possessions for Utah. The duo of Alexander-Walker and Paschall combined for 21 points on 9-for-13 shooting, in the first half.
The Donovan Mitchell-less Jazz raced out to a 41-14 second quarter, culminating in a 37 point lead by the half. Faced by the 71-34 deficit, the Clippers had their work cut out for them in the second half.
And while the Clippers technically did win the second half (it’s the little victories), it was far too little and far too late.
If there’s one legitimate bright spot, it’s the continued tenacity of the Clippers reserves. The second unit outscored the first unit, as all of the players that donned a Clippers uniform tonight and also scored in the double digits — a list that consists of Robert Covington, Semi Ojeleye Terance Mann, and Luke Kennard — started on the bench. Covington, who led his team in points and steals was joined by Isaiah Hartenstein, who led Los Angeles in rebounds, assists, and blocks, tonight.
Unfortunately, the Jazz just out-executed the Clippers. Led by Rudy Gobert’s 19 points, 16 rebounds, and a defensive effort that confirmed Ty Lue’s praise as “the best big man defender in the league,” the Jazz outscored, out-rebounded, and out-assisted the Clippers towards a wire-to-wire win tonight.
This game was certainly one to forget, and as the postseason is just nine games away, the Clippers cannot afford many more forgettable games. After a three day break to regroup and recover, the Clippers will hope to break this losing streak, in Denver, on Tuesday.