The Clippers finally broke their (regular season) losing streak in the state of Utah, beating the Jazz, 117-103. Kawhi is the headline, but check out the details below.

Summary

The Clippers went into halftime with a 13 point lead, behind 22 first half points from Kawhi Leonard. Kawhi started the game 5/5 and was efficient throughout the night. Ivica Zubac added 10 of his own, as the Clippers found him repeatedly in the paint. The Jazz were led by Talen Horton-Tucker’s 11 in the half, but the Clippers’ defense held them to just 46 points on 37% shooting from the field (22% from three).

Throughout the second half, the Clippers “played with their food,” as Dr. Shap would say. That is, they expanded their lead but also let the Jazz go on long enough runs to stay in the game. With about seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Collin Sexton hit a shot to cut the Clippers’ once 18 lead to just six. Ultimately, though, the Clippers responded well, led by—who else?—Kawhi Leonard. After a 12-0 run, the game was back in control—and over.

Game Medals

Gold Medal: In 38 minutes, Kawhi put up a season-high 41 points, along with five rebounds and five assists. He was 14/23 from the field and 6/8 from three. So far, this season, Paul George has looked like the player who is more capable of putting up high point totals on a nightly basis (averaging 23.5 points to Kawhi’s 21.6). But, tonight, Kawhi showed that he still has the assassin quality that we have seen the playoffs (although, to be fair, the Jazz were pretty short-handed).

Silver Medal: In 42 minutes, Zubac had 18 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks. That 42 minutes, by the way, was a new career high, per Tomer Azarly. To learn more about Zubac’s value to the team, check out this article by Justin Russo.

Bronze Medal: In 37 minutes, Paul George had a relatively quiet 20 points and added six steals. Mann hitting two threes (out of five) almost topped George in my book; those shots are hopefully a sign that Mann will soon be out of his slump. But given that the Clippers’ defense held the Jazz to just 103 points, the edge goes to George’s six steals.

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