Clippers fall to Jazz in game one of preseason

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Utah Jazz defeated the Clippers 101-96 in Hawaii.

After a week of training camp in Oahu, the Los Angeles Clippers begin their 2023-24 season with a preseason loss to the Utah Jazz. 

The Clippers faced the Jazz Sunday for an exhibition game at the University of Hawaii’s SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center, where they were met with a 101-96 defeat. 

Turning point: The Clippers carried the lead over Utah throughout the first half, but the Jazz’s offense went on a hot 9-0 run before the end of the third to flip the script. Los Angeles went 11-for-39 from the field in the second half. An extended 20-7 run from the Jazz put Utah in the lead in fourth. 

With just under three minutes left, Amir Coffey equalized the game at 90-90. Unfortunately for the Clippers, the Jazz carried the momentum to a final 101-96 win. 

What it means:
The Clippers end their first week of training camp with a preseason loss, but have three more exhibition games remaining before the regular season starts, including one rematch against Utah and two games against the Denver Nuggets.

Hits: Veterans Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both logged 15 minutes of game time in the first half. Leonard scored 11 points while going 4 for 8 inside of the paint. He added two rebounds, two steals and one assist. George finished with eight points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists. 

Misses: Lue originally told reporters Saturday that a full roster would be available for Sunday’s matchup, but the injury report eventually changed. The Clippers announced forward Marcus Morris would be sidelined (left groin strain), as well as Russell Westbrook and Nicolas Batum for rest. 

Brandon Boston Jr. also limped off the court after bumping knees and suffering a left knee contusion. He played a total of 39 seconds before heading to the locker room, and was forced to sit out the remainder of the game. 

Stat of the game: Backup point guard Bones Hyland led the Clippers with 18 points in 24 minutes of play time. Hyland went 7 for 8 from inside the arc, and added four assists and two blocks.

Up next: Los Angeles will have a chance at redemption when the two teams face off for another exhibition game in Seattle on Tuesday.