By Scott Funk (@scottfunk0)
SALT LAKE CITY – In a preview of a potential first-round matchup, the LA Clippers (34-21) came into town and took care of business against the Utah Jazz (34-22) with a final score of 88-72.
The Clippers started out hot, opening the game on a 6-0 run. A marquee match-up featuring Rudy Gobert and All-Star selection Deandre Jordan was one that got going right from the beginning with a blocked shot from Jordan on Gobert followed by a nice hook-shot over Gobert on the ensuing possession.
From then on it was a quiet night from both players as Gobert would finish with 10 points and 14 rebounds for his 38th double-double of the season, and Jordan with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
After the early run by the Clippers the Jazz would bounce-back to go into the second quarter with a 19-18 lead, but that was the closest they would come to winning the rest of the game. Over the next two quarters, the Jazz were outscored by the Clippers by 28, putting the game out-of-reach for good.
Neither team played well with the Clippers shooting 44% from the field, and the Jazz shooting just 32%. From start to finish, it was an ugly game.
“Tonight we didn’t compete the way the we need to,” said Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder. “Sometimes its physical, sometimes its mental – tonight it was both. We’ve played some of our best basketball in the past week. And tonight, we showed what a bad team looks like when you’re not ready to play.”
Leading the way for the Clippers was a Blake Griffin with a very quiet 26 points and 10 boards. Derrick Favors was the leading scorer for the Jazz with 13.
The Jazz will look to end their three-game losing streak and hope to go into the All-Star Break on a high-note when the Portland Trailblazers (23-31) come into town on Wednesday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 P.M. MST.
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