RECAP: LA Clippers ride Kawhi Leonard past hot Jazz

By Field Level Media
Feb 19, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) is charged with an offensive foul as he goes up for a dunk over Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) in the second half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 116-112 victory over the visiting Utah Jazz on Friday night.

Lou Williams added 19 points and Marcus Morris chipped in 17 off the bench for the Clippers. Patrick Beverley also scored 17. Paul George added 15 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Los Angeles beat the Jazz for the first time in three meetings this season.

Donovan Mitchell scored 35 points to lead Utah, which had a nine-game winning streak snapped. Bojan Bogdanovic added 23 points, and reserve Jordan Clarkson contributed 19. Mike Conley scored 16 points.

The Jazz lost for just the second time in their past 22 games.

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Leonard and George returned to action for Los Angeles, Leonard back after a three-game absence caused by a leg injury, George participating after a seven-game hiatus prompted by a toe ailment. Both missed the Clippers’ 114-96 home loss to Utah on Wednesday.

The Clippers set an aggressive tone on both ends of the floor in the first half. They shot 51 percent from the floor and held Utah in check on the perimeter.

Los Angeles carved out a double-digit lead in the second quarter, going up 47-33 after Williams and Reggie Jackson hit back-to-back threes to spark a 15-7 run. Jackson also assisted back-to-back baskets from Beverley and Serge Ibaka that capped the run.

Mitchell rallied the Jazz early in the third quarter. He hit a pair of free throws and made four baskets to fuel an 18-4 run that put Utah up 67-63. Mitchell capped off the run by draining a 3-pointer and then, after stealing the ball, feeding Bogdanovic for another outside basket.

Los Angeles regained a 79-75 lead heading into the fourth quarter after Leonard and Williams combined for baskets over three straight possessions.

Utah closed within 94-92 on a dunk from Mitchell before the Clippers pulled away for good. Beverley scored 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to cap a 13-2 run that gave Los Angeles a 107-94 lead with 2:28 remaining.

The Jazz cut the deficit to a basket, 112-110, with 13 seconds left on back-to-back 3-pointers from Mitchell. Beverley sealed the win on a pair of free throws with 10.1 seconds remaining.

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–Field Level Media