HomeNewsUtah Jazz fall to the Los Angeles Clippers

Utah Jazz fall to the Los Angeles Clippers

In their first game without Mike Conley, who went down with a knee injury, the Utah Jazz missed him in their loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, 121-114.

In Conley’s place, Will Hardy went with Collin Sexton, and he really struggled. For the game, Sexton was 5/13 from the field and 0/2. But the issue was the playmaking. Sexton had just 1 assist in 28 minutes, and it was painfully evident at times that his vision just wasn’t there. Here’s an example of a play where Jordan Clarkson is open in the corner for a three, and Sexton doesn’t come close to seeing him.

Now, this doesn’t mean that Sexton isn’t a contributing player because we’ve seen him be a difference-maker multiple times and even win the Jazz some games. But this game showed that Mike Conley has been a big part of what the Jazz are doing this season. It will be interesting to see what Hardy does in the Jazz’s next game. Will he go with Sexton or go with someone else?

The best option is probably Talen Horton-Tucker, who was fantastic in his 20 minutes tonight. THT finished the game with 14 points on 5/9 shooting from the field and 2/4 from three. He had just 2 assists, but that’s deceiving because THT is showing an improved ability to drive and kick to open shooters. Look at the difference in this play compared to what we saw from Sexton.

Look at the ball movement and how THT finds Clarkson in the corner. Clarkson misses the shot but it’s a great setup and something that could help the Jazz survive while Conley is out

It’s not clear why THT didn’t get the start, he’s the best point guard option behind Mike Conley. Will Hardy go with THT in the starting lineup in their next game? Hardy might go with that because it looked like he was heated while talking with Sexton at one point.

There were some other bright points in this one. Lauri Markkanen is getting more and more consistent with his scoring. In their first time playing the Clippers, Marcus Morris did a good job of knocking Markkanen out of rhythm but not tonight. It’s really fun watching Markkanen grow every night.

Jordan Clarkson deserves a ton of credit. He’s a great locker room leader, but he’s also been great on the court this season. Tonight he scored 26 in 39 minutes with 4 assists. He was also a +7 in the loss. Without Clarkson this season wouldn’t be happening.

Analysis: Jazz fail to get momentum on their side through a tough 4th quarter vs. the Clippers

The Utah Jazz lost a tough game on Monday night.

Head coach Will Hardy called the game frustrating because the Jazz were kind of all over the place. They started out slow, kind of gritted their way through the first half, were trailing by as many as 17 in the third quarter, fought back and were leading by five heading into the fourth quarter and then things soured once again and the Jazz lost, 121-114.

“We played very well in stretches, and we were extremely poor in some stretches,” he said. “And that cost us the game.”

It would be pretty easy to look at the box score and say that the Jazz could have used more out of Malik Beasley, who, after scoring 56 points over the previous two contests, finished with just six points on Monday. It would be pretty easy to blame this game solely on the fact that the Jazz were without Mike Conley, who is the calm and collected maestro that’s been at the helm of this ship. It would be pretty easy to say that transition points hurt the Jazz once again.

And all of those things would be absolutely true. Even so, the Jazz were in this game and had a chance to win, but they were on the wrong side of poorly-timed, momentum-shifting runs that gave the Clippers control.

Three such stretches came in the fourth quarter alone. So let’s take a look at those.

Clippers 7-0 run in the 4th

Like I said above, the Jazz went into the fourth quarter with a five-point lead. The Clippers chipped away at that lead until they’d tied. Then after an Olynyk bucket that gave the Jazz a two-point lead the Clippers called timeout with 7:35 left in the game.

Coming out of that timeout the Clippers went on a 7-0 run.

Two offensive boards and just not quitting at the rim started the run.

On the Jazz’s ensuing offensive possession, Beasley and Olynyk just aren’t as focused as they need to be and they aren’t careful with the ball. A turnover ends up being an easy two points for Nicolas Batum on the other end.

Then, Collin Sexton misses a layup, Jarred Vanderbilt fumbles away a rebound and the Jazz get caught moving back down the court at half speed, so the Clippers push the ball quickly to an open Norman Powell, who knocks down a transition 3.

Ouch, ouch and ouch.

“That was kind of the turning point in the game,” Hardy said. “Couple of turnovers and poor transition defense in that little 7-0 run cost us.”

LA Clippers vs Utah Jazz Injury Report

The LA Clippers and Utah Jazz will be having a long-awaited rematch on Monday night that could likely have significant tiebreaker implications. The Clippers’ side of the injury report is looking a little less heavy than the Utah Jazz’s side.

First, for the Clippers, Paul George will be questionable with right knee soreness. Brandon Boston Jr is out on a G League assignment, Moussa Diabate is out on G League two-way, Luke Kennard is out with a right calf strain, and Jason Preston is out on a G League assignment.

The Utah Jazz will be missing quite a few players, even more than the Clippers. Mike Conley is out with a left leg popliteus strain, Rudy Gay is out with a left hand third MCP joint strain, Ochai Agbaji is out on G League assignment, Leandro Bolmaro is out on G League assignment, Johnny Juzang is out on G League two-way, and Michah Potter is out on G League two-way.

The biggest key players that could potentially be missing are Paul George and Mike Conley. Obviously, Paul George is a bigger player than Conley, but both are key pieces for their teams. Kawhi Leonard still hasn’t really come to form yet, so it’s very likely that Lauri Markkanen will be the best player on the floor.

Sources: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

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