The Jazz beat the Clippers for their 2nd straight win

With little to play for, the Jazz reserves came out and balled on Friday night.
Apr 12, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Utah Jazz forward Kenneth Lofton Jr. (34) is greets
Apr 12, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Utah Jazz forward Kenneth Lofton Jr. (34) is greets / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

After ending their longest losing streak in over 40 years on Thursday night, the Utah Jazz hit the road for a matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers, who were fighting for playoff homecourt advantage. However, as the game began, the news rolled in that Dallas had lost to Detroit, giving the Clippers the tiebreaker and rendering the game with the Jazz meaningless in the standings. As a result, Paul George, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Ivaca Zubac all played minimal minutes for the Clippers, and the backups played most of the game after the first quarter.

As the Jazz were already sitting their top 6 players, the game ended up a bit more even from that point on, even as the Clippers took a 38-27 lead early on. Kenneth Lofton Jr. came out strong in the 2nd, getting 20 points in the quarter and making the Clippers look silly at times. Luka Samanic also played well in the 2nd, and the Jazz took a 61-60 lead at the break.

The Jazz came out strong early in the 3rd, with a 9-0 run that forced a Clippers timeout. After that things were pretty even, until a 3-minute scoring drought by the Jazz allowed the Clippers to close the gap to 86-85 going into the final quarter.

The Jazz pushed their lead to 5 several times and then 4, but couldn't get a grip on the game as the Clippers kept things close, even taking a 1-point lead with just over 3 minutes remaining. The Jazz scored their 110th point at the 1:54 mark, putting them up 5 once more, but would not score again. Fortunately, they held on and beat the Clippers, 110-109.

Another strong effort from the reserves tonight, led by Kenneth Lofton Jr. who had 27 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists and is auditioning to get on a roster and stick for next year.

The Jazz shot 17.1% from 3 point range (6-35) but received 62 points from the bench.

Utah moves on to their final game of the 2023-24 season, with the Golden State Warriors, who are still fighting to have homecourt in their play-in matchup next week, so resting their starters is unlikely. The Jazz are now 31-50 on the season and got their 10th road win. Let's see if they can make it 3 in a row on Sunday afternoon.

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