The LA Clippers (21-9), still without 3 starters, were defeated last night by the current NBA leader Utah Jazz (24-5) at Staples Center 114-96. The Clippers fought valiantly throughout, leading by 1 after the first quarter, and by 5 at the half. However, about halfway through the third quarter the Jazz went on a run that the Clips could just not overcome. The Clippers were done in by giving up 17 turnovers, and 16 offensive rebounds. That is way too much to give up to the best team in the league if you intend to win, especially if you are without your two best players. You have to give the Clips credit for keeping it close for as long as they did, but they ultimately just ran out of gas. They will have another crack at them this Friday night, and hopefully will be back at full strength.
STAR OF THE GAME
Rudy Gobert and his 23 point 20 rebound game. Its kind of hard to believe that this guy has only made one All-Star team in his career because he is undoubtedly a star in this league. His presence loomed large as players were hesitant with their shots in the lane. They had to think twice whenever they were down low, and it caused players like Lou Williams and Serge Ibaka to second guess and blow shots they would normally make while in close.
Gobert is such a defensive force, he was on the back and front of the Clippers minds all night. There was some tension between him and the Jazz’s other star, Donovan Mitchell, due to Gobert being personally responsible for last year’s NBA season Covid pause, and for giving Mitchell Covid as well. But it seems they have buried the hatchet, and are playing well together. Well enough to get the Jazz to the top of the standings. Gobert is sure to make the All-Star game this year.
The turnovers and cleaning up the defensive boards. I could very well say once again that we need Paul George and Kawhi Leonard back, but that is glaringly apparent and I am not going to continue to harp on it. The Clippers do not normally turn it over at such a high clip, nor do they lack on not giving up offensive rebounds. These two factors were what cost them in the end. You can’t give the Jazz that many extra possessions or that many extra shots per. It seemed every time the Jazz would get an offensive board, they would get a wide open 3 point shot and sink it. It enabled them to get on the run in the second half that the Clips would not come back from. Cleaning up those two areas will be the focus going into this Friday’s game.
The Jazz are currently the best team in the league, so all the contributions from them are really no surprise. So for the second game in a row, I am going to give it to Amir Coffey. The Brewmaster got into double digits off the bench again scoring 13 points, making 2 out of 3 3 pointers. He has played well when called upon lately, and has not looked like he should be a 3rd stringer bench warmer. This guy has very well just worked himself into the rotation with his play. He has worked hard to stay on top of his game despite the lack of playing time, and now it is paying off. Not only have his teammates and coaching staff taken notice, but he is now becoming a fan favorite. If he keeps it up, his good games will no longer come as a surprise.
Vs Utah Jazz, Friday, February 19th at 7:00PM Pacific
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