LOS ANGELES — Paul George has a approach of taking on video games, coming by together with his model of heroics when the Clippers want it probably the most. He got here up huge the previous three video games and he did it once more Sunday, this time with a 34-point, eight-rebound efficiency.
“He has proven that earlier than when the staff wanted it,” Batum mentioned. “He steps up and did it. And till Kawhi (Leonard) comes again, he must play like that. Even when Kawhi comes again, he must play like that anyway. He has proven why he’s the most effective taking pictures guard within the NBA.”
Solely this time it wasn’t sufficient. The Clippers (5-5) wanted greater than George to have an opportunity in opposition to the red-hot Utah Jazz on Sunday. The Jazz, who got here into the sport having gained 4 in a row, outscored the Clippers 18-6 within the closing 5 minutes for a 110-102 victory at Crypto.com Enviornment.
Coach Tyronn Lue mentioned he doesn’t anticipate George to hold the staff each evening.
“We’ve got lots of guys who’re succesful,” he mentioned. “As soon as we get our rotations down and guys are out and in. So, getting the circulate and getting our rotations has been sort of powerful. However we’ve guys which might be able to serving to him out. In order that gained’t be an issue.”
The Clippers, who have been seeking to construct upon a modest three-game profitable streak couldn’t overcome the Jazz (7-3) regardless of outscoring Utah within the paint, 60 to 34, taking extra photographs and 5 gamers in double figures.
Not even the impressed play of guard John Wall, who got here off the bench to attain 12 factors, the robust defensive play of Ivica Zubac (12 factors, 9 rebounds), Terance Mann’s 14 factors or the stable taking pictures of Marcus Morris Sr., who completed with 18 factors on 8-of-16 taking pictures might derail the Jazz.
The numbers that bothered George have been the free throw discrepancy and fouls. The Clippers have been known as for 26 fouls in comparison with the Jazz’s 15; Utah made 25 of 26 free throws.
“These two totally different numbers stand out,” George mentioned. “And to not put it on the officers as a result of we made unhealthy fouls in that fourth quarter to shut the sport out. I feel we despatched them to the road approach too many occasions on possessions the place we should always have executed a greater job of enjoying protection.”
One other obtrusive statistic was how Jazz’s dominated from the 3-point line, the place they made 15 of 40 photographs. The Clippers have been 8 of 30. George mentioned he thought they have been beauty that simply didn’t fall.
“I feel we missed all 10 of them within the fourth quarter and that would have been on me, too,” Lue mentioned. “I believed Paul and Marcus bought drained, performed just a little too many minutes. I ought to have in all probability held PG out a pair extra minutes in that fourth quarter if I might have. In order that’s on me.”
The Clippers managed to quiet Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson, for a time, limiting him to 17 factors till late within the third quarter, when he scored a jumper with 47 seconds left. His lull helped the Clippers flip a six-point deficit into an 85-87 benefit heading into the ultimate 12 minutes.
Clarkson, nonetheless, managed to get again into the circulate and end with a team-high 23 factors.
The Clippers took a 93-89 lead with 7:52 remaining on a driving layup by Wall. The Jazz closed to inside one 93-92.
The Clippers prolonged their lead 96-92 on a pair of free throws by George earlier than the Jazz hit 4 foul photographs to take a 98-96 lead with lower than 5 minutes. Malik Beasley hit from the nook for a 101-96 Utah lead with 4:13 left.
The Clippers have been in a position to pull inside 4, 106-102, however that’s as shut as they bought.
Lue began Mann rather than Luke Kennard, who didn’t play due to unexplained chest discomfort he skilled in opposition to San Antonio. It was simply the most recent adjustment Lue has needed to make by the primary 10 video games.
On this case, nonetheless, Lue’s selection labored nicely. Lue mentioned his versatility was a plus, however enjoying a number of positions tends to sap his vitality and aggressiveness.
“One evening he’s enjoying a 5, the following evening he’s enjoying a 3,” Lue mentioned. When John (Wall) sits out, he’s enjoying a backup level. So, I feel he’s been doing lots of pondering on the ground, and we simply must get him again to only enjoying onerous and doing what he does.”
Mann’s aggressiveness resulted in him selecting up his fifth foul within the fourth. His foul was a part of three consecutive fouls known as on the Clippers in a span of 10 seconds, placing the Jazz in a bonus scenario leading to a barrage of free throws.
George bought off to a gradual begin as he struggled to fight the Jazz’s tempo. He turned the ball over twice earlier than he landed his first basket on the 7:28 mark of the primary quarter. However he bought again into the combo shortly and had 13 factors by the top of the primary quarter.
Morris and George have been on the bench to start out the second quarter and as soon as once more the second unit failed to manage the lead. The Jazz took benefit of the Clippers’ turnovers to go on a 11-2 run to take a 40-31 lead with 8:33 remaining within the half.
The Jazz, behind Clarkson, took a 63-56 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Kawhi Leonard continues to progress in his return to the court docket, Lue mentioned. He has missed the previous seven video games due to stiffness in his proper knee and won’t play Monday in opposition to Cleveland and is out indefinitely. “We knew coming off an ACL, it wasn’t going to be a straight line,” Lue mentioned. “The largest factor is he’s progressing nicely.”
Kennard (chest discomfort) didn’t play Sunday. Lue mentioned he didn’t know whether or not he took successful to the chest in the course of the recreation however will endure extra testing Monday. Guard Reggie Jackson banged knees with an opposing participant and may very well be uncertain for Monday. He mentioned we might “be wonderful.”