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Jazz bomb first quarter, lose Game 4 to Clippers

LA won the first quarter 30-13 and the game and have tied the series 2-2

NBA: Playoffs-Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

If you exclude the first quarter of Game 4, the Utah Jazz actually scored more points than the Los Angeles Clippers. Unfortunately, NBA games are 48 minutes long, not 36, and the Clippers won 118-104 to even this Western Conference Semifinal series at 2-2.

Utah hit the first shot for a 2-0 lead, but LA scored the next 10 points. In response, the Jazz went on a scoring rampage to the tune of 13 first-quarter points. The Clippers took full advantage of this fact by scoring 30 for a dominant 30-13 first-quarter lead. The Clippers’ lead would reach 29 at its highest and they held a 68-44 halftime advantage.

The superstar LA duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were in peak form. Both scored 31 points and combined they shot 18 of 39 from the field, 7 of 17 from three. But just as deadly as the expected greatness from two All-NBA players was the support from Marcus Morris. The veteran power forward went 5 of 6 from three and tied a career playoff-high with 24 points.

Despite the farcical effort in the first quarter and much of the first half, the Jazz almost made this an interesting game late. As aforementioned, Utah outscored the Clippers in the final three quarters and had a 60-50 advantage in second-half points. The Jazz drew within 15 a few times in the third quarter and within 10 during the fourth.

Donovan Mitchell, despite a bum ankle, was as effective as when he has two good ankles — 37 points with five assists and five rebounds — but lacked help for the vast majority of the game. The lack of help ensured the Clippers kept the comeback at arm’s length.

The final stat lines don’t quite show this (Bojan Bogdanovic had 18 points and Joe Ingles had 19), but for the longest time, Mitchell was the only double-digit scorer aside from Joe Ingles.

The bench was somehow worse than the unhelpful starters. The three main minute-getters off the bench — Georges Niang, Derrick Favors, and Jordan Clarkson — were all -13 or worse in plus/minus. The three combined for 10 points all night on 4 of 16 shooting (2 of 10 from three).

This series now heads back to Utah for a crucial Game 5. It’s not much of a secret that teams that win Game 5 of a 2-2 series advance the vast majority of the time (north of 80 percent). The Jazz have a slight advantage with it being at home, but the Clippers have all the momentum now.

Game MVP

I’ll let you guys decide.


Jazz Game MVP for tonight

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Donovan Mitchell
    (108 votes)
  • 68%
    The final buzzer
    (232 votes)
340 votes total Vote Now