Clippers rout Utah, force Jazz to 11th straight loss

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Eight Los Angeles Clippers scored in double figures Friday night.

LOS ANGELES — Clippers forward Terance Mann led LA with 19 points at Arena as the team took down the Utah Jazz, 131-102. 

The Clippers moved to 2-1 this week without Kawhi Leonard, who missed his third consecutive game with a sore right knee.

LA’s Norman Powell scored 18 points while Russell Westbrook added 17. Ivica Zubas set the tone in the paint with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Paul George finished with 14 points in 21 minutes.

Meanwhile the Jazz were without their leading scorer, Lauri Markkanen (shoulder), and their leading rebounder, John Collins (back). Utah had three rookies in the starting lineup, who combined for 15 points.

“We took care of business, we didn’t play around,” George said. “We just had force from the start of the game. We did a great job of just staying focused.”

Turning point: Utah trailed by as many as 35 points in the second half, but went on to outscore the Clippers in the third quarter. 

But the Jazz never got closer than 20 points, and Norman Powell closed the period with a three-pointer. The Clippers went into the fourth leading 103-79 and held on for the win.

What it means: LA moved to 2-1 over Utah this season with one more game scheduled between the two for April 12.

Friday night’s win marks the first time the Clippers have won both games of a back-to-back since their Grammy road trip in February. 

The Clippers advance to 49-28 to hold onto the fourth-seed spot in the Western Conference standings. It’s the team’s fifth victory in their last six games. Five regular season games remain, four of those will be at Arena.

Hits: James Harden collected his third triple-double of the season with 13 points, 10 rebounds and a whopping 15 assists. 

Misses: Only miss came in the third quarter where the Clippers were outscored by Utah, 37-29. LA was one period short of a “Give No Quarter” game.

Stat of the game: The Clippers had an impressive shooting night, shooting 68.3% from the field in the first half to Utah’s 28%. LA hit 56% as the Jazz finished at 38.5%.

Up next: The Clippers return to Arena Sunday to host a matinee game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the last matchup between the two teams in January, the Cavaliers defeated LA, 118-108. Cleveland (46-31) has won four of its last five games with the Clippers, and currently holds a 22-17 season record on the road.