Clippers coach Tyronn Lue was in search of a chief efficiency from each Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. They each delivered Grade A video games to get Los Angeles again into its second-round sequence in opposition to Utah.
Leonard scored 34 factors and George added 31 within the Clippers’ 132-106 victory in Sport 3 on Saturday evening. It’s the second time each have scored not less than 30 in the identical playoff recreation, and helped No. 4 seed LA reduce top-seeded Utah’s sequence result in 2-1.
“We all know that they’re two of the perfect within the league,” Lue mentioned. “Like I mentioned yesterday, I don’t go to Mastro’s to order the ketchup. I’m going to order the steak. And tonight, our guys need steak. That’s what we want.”
George shot solely 34.3% from the sphere within the first two video games however was 12 of 24, together with 6 of 10 on 3-pointers. He had 13 factors within the second quarter, eight throughout a 13-2 run when LA seized management and took a 57-41 benefit with 2:54 remaining.
“I believe I simply shot my pictures, obtained the pictures I’m most snug with and caught with it,” George mentioned.
Leonard scored 24 factors within the second half. It’s his fourth profession postseason recreation with not less than 30 factors, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. Three have are available in his two seasons with the Clippers.
The large nights from Leonard and George helped offset one other high-scoring recreation from Donovan Mitchell. The guard led Utah with 30 factors, his fifth straight video games with not less than 30. The final participant to do this was Leonard final yr within the first spherical in opposition to Dallas.
“We form of allow them to get snug. George hit some pictures, however we will make it harder on him and Kawhi,” Mitchell mentioned.
Reggie Jackson and Nicolas Batum added 17 factors apiece for the Clippers. LA had struggled from the perimeter within the first two video games however was 19 of 36 on 3-pointers with many approaching open seems.
“Pictures go in or not, our job is to maintain being aggressive for ourselves and others,” Leonard mentioned. “If Paul has it going, we’re going to go to him. If I obtained it going, it’s going to come back to me. But when anyone else on the crew has it going, we’re going to attempt to get them the subsequent shot as nicely.”
Joe Ingles had 19 factors for Utah and Jordan Clarkson added 14. The Jazz had been 19 of 44 on 3-pointers, however 17 of 40 contained in the arc because the Clippers’ zone protection prompted issues. Utah dedicated 16 turnovers, which led to 24 LA factors.
“I’ve mentioned it the final two video games as nicely. Kawhi and PG, they’re able to actually making performs and so they made performs for different folks. There’s going to be occasions the place it’s powerful to cease them from making pictures,” Utah coach Quin Snyder mentioned. “Among the breakdowns and the cleaner seems that they get, significantly tonight I believed in transition once we attacked the basket there’s obtained to be urgency to acknowledge that state of affairs and actually get again and present a crowd the place they don’t have clear lanes to the basket.”
Mitchell appeared to tweak his ankle halfway by way of the fourth quarter and didn’t return to the sport. Snyder and Mitchell each mentioned that the sport was out of hand by that time.
“I really feel like I used to be ready to return, however no have to threat it down 16, 18 at that time,” Mitchell mentioned. “It doesn’t make sense to return on the market and presumably tweak it. Simply relaxation and prepare for the subsequent recreation.
Mitchell missed his first 4 pictures, together with a pair of drives to the basket, and didn’t make his first basket till there was 7:34 left within the second quarter. He then proceeded to attain Utah’s subsequent 16 factors, which included 4 3-pointers.
It was the primary time in his final 23 video games that Mitchell had gone scoreless within the first quarter.
“We simply made an emphasis that he’s not going to beat us tonight,” mentioned George of Mitchell. “We’re going to drive all people else to play and we’re simply not going to let him stroll in pictures tonight and get the seems that he wished early tonight.
Jazz: Ruby Gobert had 12 factors and 10 rebounds. … Clarkson was assessed a Flagrant-1 foul for slapping Ivica Zubac within the face after a rebound 20 seconds into the second quarter. … Guard Mike Conley missed his third straight recreation due to a light proper hamstring pressure.
Clippers: LA had misplaced eight straight playoff video games at Staples Heart however has gained its final two. … Jackson had 5 3-pointers, Batum added 4 and Luke Kennard had a pair within the second half to maintain the lead in double digits.
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