The Utah Jazz lost to the LA Clippers 117 to 103. The Clippers starters powered them to a 13-point lead by halftime and despite the Jazz’s best efforts, they never got the lead back. Kawhi Leonard had 41 points and 10 rebounds. There was one point in the 2nd quarter when Leonard had 22 points and the Utah Jazz starters had 23 points. Leonard found his groove early through catch-and-shoot 3’s. Leonard continued to find offensive success through physicality in the paint. Leonard’s best play was a 3-point floater at the end of the shot clock he made in the 4th quarter.
Kawhi Leonard tonight:— Beastbrook (@Beastbr00k0) December 9, 2023
Where do you rank Kawhi in the league right now? pic.twitter.com/1ANzmVXDAp
Every Clipper starter scored in the double digits tonight. Paul George had 20 points and Zubac had 18 points with 12 rebounds.
Walker Kessler was back in the starting rotation tonight, along with Jordan Clarkson. Kessler and John Collins were active defensively tonight as they each had 4 blocks. John Collins was the leading scorer for the Jazz tonight with 19 points. THT had 15 points off the bench and Keyonte had 15 points. The Utah bench had 46 points tonight (THT, Olynyk, and Sexton scored double figures off the bench). While the Clippers did end up scoring 117 points, the Jazz played pretty good defense overall. There was at least a genuine defensive effort tonight, unlike the Mavericks disaster on Wednesday.
It would appear that Walker Kessler is channeling his inner Dennis Rodman on the boards pic.twitter.com/OpHzO1sKMB— Jazz Lead (@JazzLead) December 9, 2023
Yo... this is one heck of a pass by Jordan Clarkson, even if it didn't hit Key in the ideal spot pic.twitter.com/qr2ggaOQxK— Jazz Lead (@JazzLead) December 9, 2023
SEXTON STEAL, THT LOB, JOHN COLLINS DUNK pic.twitter.com/HIMXSot8cP— Jazz Lead (@JazzLead) December 9, 2023
Taylor Hendricks got rotation minutes again even though Olynyk was back. Yurtseven did not play tonight. When Markkanen returns, it will be interesting to see who gets the 10th man rotation minutes, Fontecchio or Hendricks (seems unlikely that both would play rotation minutes once Lauri returns).
A near 15-point loss never feels good but John Collins’ bounce-back performance along with Keyonte's 15 points on 45% shooting are encouraging signs for player development. It was also great to see Kessler back in the starting line-up and able to contribute through rebounds and blocks. The Jazz play the Thunder on Sunday at 6 PM MST.