The Los Angeles Clippers were outscored 30-21 by the Utah Jazz in the final 11 minutes of the 4th quarter Monday night, and the Jazz got a timely steal from backup PG Dante Exum off of SG Jamal Crawford to seal a 96-94 victory.
The loss dropped the Clippers to 1-2 in the preseason, with three more games to go in the next seven days. Here are some quick observations from this one:
- The Jazz got a nice game from their recent 1st round picks. PF Trey Lyles (12th pick overall in 2015) had 8 points and 8 rebounds off the bench in just 18:14, and though he fouled out, he finished with a game-high +13. SG Rodney Hood (23rd pick overall in 2014) had a game-high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. And Exum (5th pick overall in 2014) had the aforementioned strip of Crawford, a great defensive play from a player returning from ACL surgery.
- Speaking of Hood – that makes three starting SGs in three games that have lit up the Clippers. Hood (6’8″) joined Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan (6’7″) and Golden State’s Klay Thompson (6’7″) to shoot a combined 25-of-34 from the field. That’s 73.5 percent! That’s an acceptable free throw percentage! Hood, DeRozan, and Thompson also combined to average 22.3 points in about 22.3 minutes. That’s right: a point a minute for the starting SGs the Clippers have faced this preseason.
- The Clippers got washed on the boards in a major way, as the Jazz had 51 rebounds to only 30 for Los Angeles. Lyles did work in the frontcourt for the Jazz, but PG George Hill also had 8 rebounds, 4 offensive. That’s not going to cut it for Los Angeles. One particular play that was especially damning was when Jazz rookie PF Joel Bolomboy (whom the Clippers worked out before the draft) beating out Austin Rivers, Raymond Felton, and Luc Mbah a Moute for a rebound and a ferocious slam inside 2:00 left in the game. The Clippers can try going extremely small if they want to, but there are way too many poor rebounders relative to their position on this team to stay with it for any significant stretches.
- Alan Anderson got his turn to start at SF for the Clippers along with Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. It didn’t go all that well, as Anderson finished with a game-worst -10 plus-minus in only 10:17 on the court. Anderson started, but seven Clippers saw more playing time off the bench than Anderson.
- It wasn’t all good for Griffin (5 fouls in only 20:45, only 3 rebounds, 3-of-7 FTs), but he continued to look like a meal ticket, spinning off of Boris Diaw for a dunk while converting an incredibly acrobatic flip shot while drawing a foul on C Rudy Gobert.
The Clippers will see plenty of the Jazz this month. They visit Utah next Monday for their penultimate preseason game, then host the Jazz for their home opener on October 30. It will be interesting to see whether or not the Clippers roll out the starters again next week.
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