The Los Angeles Clippers finished pre-season list ahead of the 2020-21 NBA season with a 125-105 loss to Utah Jazz Thursdays at Staples Center.
The match was close until shortly before halftime, when the jazz team finally took the lead. Since it was a fight, the Clippers didn’t push for victory, instead focusing on giving players time on the field and keeping everyone healthy. The loss means Los Angeles ended the pre-season with three straight losses.
Founded by Clippers Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Patrick Beverly, Nicholas Batum and Evika ZiwiPeak. Marcus Morris Sr. was in the ring but kept suffering from “knee ache”, while Serge Ibaca was also suspended but involved in the shooting, and Patrick Patterson was also scratched at first.
The two teams traded at the top in the first quarter, with Beverly both teams leading eight points early. George hit two free throws to put the Clippers ahead 29-28 at the end of the opening clip.
The Clippers tried different styles in the game, alternating between zone defense and man-to-man defense.
Mfiondo Cabangel faced a bumpy first half but delivered a heavy kick to help launch an early LA career in the second half.
The Clippers drove until the final minutes of the second quarter, when Utah ran out to their biggest lead of the night to head to the break. The two teams went to the first half with a Utah 58-48 lead. Leonard scored seven points but struggled hard in the first half, shooting just 37.5 percent.
The jazz team expanded their supremacy after the game resumed, withdrawing to a 69-56 lead with just over 8:00 in the third quarter. The good news was that George and Leonard were starting to build a rhythm on the attack. However, the game was somewhat chaotic, turning into a track meet with both teams reaping quick turnovers and possessions.
With Utah maintaining a two-digit lead after the third quarter, Tyronn Lue chose to play on the bench in the fourth quarter, with Prince Covey providing a boost in perhaps his best minutes before the start of the season.
Overall, George led the way to Los Angeles with 16 points and five assists in 25 minutes of action, Batum scored eight rebounds, and Leonard and Luke Kennard each had 13 points. Covey finished with nine points in 12 minutes.
The Clippers were completed with pre-season brawls, with the season kicking off Tuesday vs. Los Angeles Lakers. Los Angeles teams have already played each other twice in recent days, but this match needs to escalate to be the first important game of the new season. We’ll see if the clippers are going uphill or need more time to get used to life with Lue.