A shorthanded Utah Jazz squad traveled to Los Angeles to face the LA Clippers. The first half was close, but the second half had the Clips boat-racing the Jazz. The Jazz couldn’t hit their threes, turned the ball over way too much, and had a very questionable shot distribution.
Ricky Rubio dominated the first quarter, shooting and scoring at will as the Clippers defense tried to contain the Jazz bigs. Unfortunately, Donovan Mitchell was playing rookie ball, missing shots, and turning the ball over. Then, the Jazz had a terrible end of quarter sequence where they gave up a jumper, then turned it over for a layup.
In the second quarter, the Jazz defense keyed in, led by Udoh. After 7 minutes, the Clippers had only scored four points. The starters kept up the pressure and the halftime score was 42-41 Clippers.
In the third quarter, disaster struck. The Jazz gave up 33 points and only scored 15. In the first 2 minutes, they gave up 10 points, then no one other than Rudy could put the ball in the hoop for the rest of the quarter.
The fourth quarter brought a new hope. Udoh played good defense and Mitchell hit shots that he missed in the other 3 quarters, including his first three point shot. But it was too little after the third quarter debacle and the Jazz were sent packing.
Rudy was 5-5 from the field and had three blocks, but still ended up with a game worst +/- of -26, tied with Rubio. The Clippers starters crushed the Jazz starters, although Rudy looked more like himself than in previous games.
Joe Ingles gastric distress was not resolved. He was ineffective in his time on the court.
Donovan Mitchell scored 19 points on 20 shots. No other Jazz player took more than 10. Dante Exum has not attempted more than 14 FGA in his two NBA seasons. I don’t know why Quin Snyder thinks Mitchell deserves a loose leash, but he is giving him full autonomy to play hero ball and shoot from anywhere.
The Clippers somehow managed to get 12 steals of the 18 Jazz TOVs. The Jazz have to take better care of the ball in transition and in the half-court because the open court turnovers are killing them.
Full credit to the Clippers - they came out ready to disrupt what the Jazz wanted to do on offense.