Home has been the best place for the Utah Jazz this season, as they were 6-4 coming into Friday night in games played at the Delta Center this season. And they had beaten the LA Clippers in the 2nd game of the year, in what was a promising showing at the time. The Clippers had lost 11 straight games in Salt Lake City, dating back to 2017. Would good fortune smile on the Utah Jazz on Friday night?
Tonight, Kawhi Leonard was having none of that, as he put on a clinic and looked like the Kawhi of old - 41 points, on 14-23 shooting, including 6-8 from 3-point range, as he continued the Jazz trend of struggling against elite scorers this season.
For a change, turnovers weren't the major issue in this game. The Jazz had 5 in the first quarter, but only 8 from that point forward as they finished with 13 on the night, only 1 more than the Clippers team total (12). The final margin in the game was 117-103 for the Clippers as they broke their 11 game losing streak in Salt Lake City.
John Collins led the Jazz with 20 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals and 4 blocked shots.
Jordan Clarkson, back after missing several games due to injury, was a bit rusty and had 6 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and was 2 of 9 from the floor in 28 minutes.
The combination of Talen Horton-Tucker, Kelly Olynyk, and Collin Sexton combined for totals of 41 points, 8 rebounds, and 10 assists on 15 of 28 shooting. They were a net positive in their time on the floor and helped keep the Jazz in the game for a while.
Keyonte George had 15 points on some good shooting, but was a net negative on the night and was too easily bullied by the bigger Clippers guards. He needs to focus on and work on his defense a bit more moving forward.
Walker Kessler had 8 points, 12 rebounds, 2 steals and 4 blocked shots, but was out of position too often, as his Clippers counterpart Ivica Zubac had 18 points and 12 boards on the night.
The Utah Jazz will have the weekend off, before traveling to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder on Monday night. With their star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander averaging 30 points per game, it might be another long night for the Utah Jazz.