Despite the final score, last night was a very winnable game for the LA Clippers. The Clippers played the right way for most of the game; the team actually had a 7 point lead (81-74) with 6:51 left in the 3rd quarter. From that moment on, the team seemed to collapse defensively. LA was led by Austin Rivers, who posted: 25 points (9/16) and 6 assists. Despite Austin’s great play, he was held scoreless in the final 20 minutes of the game.
The Jazz were led by the stellar play of Alec Burks. Burks has a season average of 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 0.9 assists; tonight he had 28 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals.
Last night was a true team win for the Jazz, as they had had seven players score 12+ points. While the Clippers were learning how to play while injured, playing without Blake Griffin is a whole different ballgame that they haven’t adapted to. There were two key components that led to the Clippers defeat last night.
The Utah Jazz had 38 assists last night. I repeat, the Utah Jazz who average 21 assists, had 38 assists last night. The Jazz got basically anything they wanted, whether it was from deep or in the paint.
There were moments when a Jazz player shot a wide open 3, then no Clipper player got the rebound. Defensively, that is as bad as it gets.
Believe it or not, Utah shot 57% from the field (49/85) and 48% from three (17/35). The poor defense allowed a Utah team that was 25th in the league in offense(101.5 PPG), to score 126 points.
4th Quarter Collapse
With 10:23 remaining in the 4th, the Clippers were only losing by 1 point. After that moment, it seemed like they completely forgot how to play defense.
The Jazz outscored the Clippers 32-20 in the 4th quarter, shooting 59% from the field, and 50% from three. Utah even had 12 assists in this quarter alone. The Clippers really needed the leadership of a Chris Paul, or a Blake Griffin to bring them together in this quarter.
The Final Clip: For not having 4 starters, the Clippers played a great game for 3 quarters. They moved the ball really well, but just couldn’t play solid defense. Hopefully they can put the pieces together against a struggling Mavs team on Saturday.