UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Vs. Clippers: Game Night

Dec 17, 2020, 7:08 PM | Updated: 10:45 pm
Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)...
Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Welcome to KSL Sports Game Night. Tonight, the Utah Jazz take on the Los Angeles Clippers in the final game of the Jazz preseason schedule.

On this page, you’ll find all of our coverage of the Jazz and Clippers game including pregame quotes, in-game updates, and the biggest moments from throughout the game.

In addition to updates, KSL Sports Ben Anderson will respond to your tweets and questions throughout the game in the article.

Pregame:

Jazz fans should expect to see some semblance of a regular-season rotation tonight, at least to begin the game. Yesterday the Jazz announced that only rookie Udoka Azubuike was unavailable (knee soreness) so both Royce O’Neale and Shaq Harrison should be set to make their season debuts with the team.

Quin Snyder confirmed the plan during his pregame availability.

“I want to throw Royce right into it and give him an opportunity to find a rhythm,” Snyder said. “In Shaq’s case, the game will probably dictate more where we use him.”

O’Neale’s experience with the roster will give him a leg up in finding his footing with the team, and fans shouldn’t be surprised if he starts.

“Shaq’s still trying to figure out what’s going on with us,” Snyder said. “He’s been working hard learning new terminology, some of the actions, how we want to defend. But he’s, he’s played NBA minutes, he’s been in the league. Usually, guys like that pick it up pretty quickly.”

The Clippers starters tonight are:

G: Patrick Beverley

G: Paul George

F: Kawhi Leonard

F: Nicolas Batum

C: Ivica Zubac

Despite a relatively healthy starting five, the Clippers will be without most of their rotational big men. No Marcus Morris Serge Ibaka, or Patrick Patterson.

Meanwhile, O’Neale will get the start in his first game back for the Jazz.

G: Mike Conley

G: Donovan Mitchell

F: Royce O’Neale

F: Bojan Bogdanovic

C: Rudy Gobert

Mike Conley mentioned that the guard play had been a little sloppy on Monday night with him, Mitchell, and Joe Ingles on the floor together. The three guards struggled to determine who was bringing the ball of the floor for the outlet at times.

Having O’Neale back in the game should help declutter the team’s starting lineup. It also allow Joe Ingles to mirror Derrick Favors minutes off the bench.

First Quarter:

Much different start offensively for the Jazz who couldn’t find a bucket for the first four minutes in game two against Phoenix

Jazz getting some good looks against the Clippers defense. They’ve given up some easy looks too. Lots of turnovers trying to work O’Neale back into the rotation.

Snyder’s first real opportunity to form a rotation pulls Conley and Gobert off the floor at the seven minute mark in the first quarter, with Ingles and Derrick Favors replacing them.

Jordan Larkson then becomes the team’s eighth man in what might be an eight-man rotation.

The Jazz trail at the end of the first quarter 29-28. Too many turnovers and too many fouls really allowed the Clippers hang around. However, the Jazz knocked down 5-13 from the three-point line.

Both O’Neale and Harrison made their season debuts. O’Neale looked understandably rusty. Meanwhile, Harrison brings a lot of energy running the floor and fighting over screens.

Second Quarter:

No Georges Niang in the rotation quite yet with O’Neale back in the lineup. The Jazz offense has looked sluggish at times but like last season, it gets bailed out by three-point shooting.

The Jazz are 8-23 from deep in the first 17 minutes of the game. Throughout training camp Snyder said he wanted to see the Jazz continue to get early threes like they had in Orlando.

It’s impressive how many three-point attempts the Jazz can get up. They had a stretch where 10 of the 11 shot attempts were from deep, separated by a Conley mid-range jumper and Gobert free-throws. Jazz have 13 made threes on 31 attempts in the first half.

Those numbers would make the Golden Warriors blush.

The Jazz take a 58-48 lead into the second half pending review of a Gobert dunk where he may have stepped out of bounds.

The pace of play with so many threes is hard to keep up with and will be a big advantage for the Jazz if they have enough bodies throughout the season. Snyder played nine guys in the first half, though Harrison received only 3 minutes.

Regardless, this was an impressive half from the Jazz. Clippers score just three points in the final 4:20 of the half while the Jazz put up a quick 15 points.

Third Quarter:

The Jazz three-point shooting hasn’t subsided in Los Angeles. Through six minutes, the Jazz have added four more makes to their total.

Ideally, these three-point makes open the paint for Gobert to get easy looks on dump-off opportunities, but if the Clippers are going to defend the three-point line the Jazz will gladly continue to shoot them.

While the rest of the Jazz scorers are beating the Clippers from behind the arc, Mitchell is selectively dissecting the defense with his dribble-drive game. Of course, it all feels easier when the three-points are falling, but Mitchell is playing smarter basketball than he ever has before.

It’s a nice dynamic to add to the team.

Fourth Quarter:

The Jazz starters are done fo the right as Trent Forrest, Jordan Clarkson, Miye Oni, Georges Niang and Derrick Favors start the final period.

Impressive overall night from the Jazz. You can see the chemistry growing from last season.

Mostly garbage minutes to close the game, but the Jazz young guys can play. Trent Forrest understands the game at a high level, and though he can’t shoot, he really plays well well without trying to score.

Elijah Hughes can score. That was apparent at Syracuse, but sometimes those guys get into the NBA and when the game changes and scoring gets more difficult, they fall apart (Rayjon Tucker). That hasn’t been the case with Hughes, he has a lot of patience.

Jazz beat the Clippers 125-105, both Clarkson and Bogdanovic score 20.

Thanks for joining us tonight, we’ll bring these back throughout the season.

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