Second night of “back-to-back” needs, the Clippers rested their duo Kawhi Leonard – Paul George. The Jazz quickly took advantage of these absences and easily won a game (126-103) in which it was not led.
The initial 9-0 posted by the locals to start could be the harbinger of a long night for the visitors. He is more or less. The Jazz started off strong behind the 3-point line as Walker Kessler, in the middle of a good interior battle with Ivica Zubac, took care of the bottom circle.
Leading by 10 points after the quarter (36-26) after another award-winning basket from Lauri Markkanen, the Jazz increased their lead in the following minutes. It took the intervention of Norman Powell, author of eight points in the last minute of the first period, for the Clippers to return to the locker room on a decent note (68-56).
This gap of a dozen points was maintained after that before the Californian dyke surrendered at the beginning of the last quarter, with more than 20 points behind (106-84). Seeing that the opposing replacements were starting to reduce this distance, Will Hardy preferred to play it safe by removing his starters to seal a big victory.
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
– A 3-point cloud. Seeing two teams with better 3-point skills than their overall success is pretty rare to report. At 15/34 behind the arc, the Clippers have been great in this sector. But Jazz did something stronger. With their Markkanen – Conley pairing on fire from distance (11/14!) and the help of Malik Beasley and others, the Salt Lake City club is very close to their season record in volume. In terms of address, Will Hardy’s characters have never been so good: 19/32, or 59%.
– The Clippers in the negative… While the Jazz balanced their balance sheet, the Clippers fell into the negative for the first time since November. At the end of December, Tyronn Lue’s men still had six more wins than losses. Since then, they have lost nine times in eleven outings…
✅ Lauri Markkanen. This is called supporting the candidacy for the All-Star game. After two games away, the interior continued its infernal pace by posting its 17th double-double of the season. The Finn has been a monster of regularity this year as he has yet to score… less than 13 points!
✅ Mike Conley. The point guard failed to pass from his 5th double-double. This did not prevent him from confirming his best season in the career achieved with the pass, with an excellent ratio of 9 balls given without missing a ball, in addition to a good night at the address level.
✅ Norman Powell. He, who did not start from the first games of the season, was clean and efficient – 30 points in 30 minutes – and he was one of the few Californians who survived.
⛔ Robert Covington. Flop candidates abound on the Clippers side but the winger confirmed his abysmal form this season (worst career average since his rookie year). Unable to find the target from a distance, he finished with the worst “+/-” of the match (-20).
POSTER BY LAURI MARKKANEN AT IVICA ZUBAC
Jazz (24-24) : receiving the Nets on Friday.
Clippers (23-24) : trip to Spurs on Friday.