The LA Clippers fell to the Utah Jazz, 110-109 in a game that ended up being not very important.


Prior to tip-off between the Clippers and Jazz, it was announced over the PA that the Detroit Pistons had beat the Dallas Mavericks, securing the fourth seed and homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs for the Clippers.

That essentially rendered Friday’s game as meaningless, and Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue adjusted accordingly. While Paul George, James Harden, Terance Mann, and Ivica Zubac started the game, none of them played after the first quarter.

After halftime, neither Russell Westbrook or Norman Powell got back in the game. Even during his postgame press conference, the majority of the questions for Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue weren’t about the game that was just played.

All eyes have moved to the upcoming playoff series between the Clippers and the Mavericks. It will be the third time in five seasons that these two teams have met in the postseason. The Clippers won both of those series.

Lue went into a lengthy monologue when asked about the difficulties presented by the Mavericks star duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

“Luka is one of those players. Usually you can take a guy out of the game, they’re best player, by blitzing and trapping and firing and getting the ball out of his hands. . .you do that and he still can have 40 points and 15 assists. He can pick you apart, he can beat you in other ways besides scoring the basketball,” Lue said.

“With Kyrie. . .one of the best one-on-one players in our game. I’ve always said he has no weaknesses offensively. The right hand, the left hand, pull up threes, off the dribble threes, catch and shoot threes, midrange pull-ups, floaters, posting up, he can do it all and I’ve seen it.”

But as far as how the Clippers are meshing as the regular season winds down, Lue believes they’ve gotten back to the team they were when they went 26-5 earlier this season.

Despite Kawhi Leonard being out, the Clippers have won four of the past seven games including impressive showings against the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns. Including the games Leonard played, they’ve won seven of their last ten.

“It just shows what we’ve done to progress and get better because before it was hard to win without him [Leonard] on the floor,” Lue said. “We’ve definitely taken those steps, definitely gotten better defensively. That’s where it all starts. And I think we’re on a high right now, so we’re just excited to get started.”

David Yapkowitz

David Yapkowitz

David is in his sixth season as credentialed media at Los Angeles Clippers games and second season covering the team for 213 Hoops. He also covers the game at the college and high school levels. When his professional basketball dreams did not materialize, he turned to the next best thing, writing about it.

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