The Los Angeles Clippers find themselves in a 2-0 hole once again as they host the Utah Jazz in Game 3 of their best-of-seven second round series on Saturday. The Clippers went through cold runs and surges in alternating fashion in Game 2 but ultimately it was the Jazz that prevailed 117-111 on Thursday. LA trailed for nearly the entire game, but they kept up with the Jazz, never letting the game get out of hand. The Clippers’ late rally nearly came together and they even took their first lead of the night but the Jazz had their own surge and protected their home court. Donovan Mitchell led the way with 37 points and the Jazz forced nine straight misses down the stretch to outlast the visitors.
Jordan Clarkson had 24 points off the bench, including six 3-pointers, Joe Ingles finished with 19 points and Rudy Gobert added 13 points and a career playoff-high 20 rebounds. Reggie Jackson scored 29 points for the Clippers and Paul George had 27 but Kawhi Leonard had a rough night with 21 points and just two in the fourth quarter. The Clippers will not get back in this series unless Leonard closes the games, plain and simple. If Leonard scores just two points in the fourth quarter once again, it won’t get them very far. Game 3 takes place on Saturday at 8:30 PM ET at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Team to Win (Regular Time)
• Utah Jazz: 2.58
• Los Angeles Clippers: 1.55
• Utah Jazz: +4.5 (1.91)
• Los Angeles Clippers: -4.5 (1.90)
• Over 223.5 (1.90)
• Under 223.5 (1.90)
Key Points to Consider
Jordan Clarkson deserves a special mention, he has been the difference in the first two games of this series. Clarkson is pure hooper to the max, he plays off instincts and gives you buckets. Yes, he is the sixth man but on nights like Thursday he becomes the co-star to Donovan Mitchell because of his ability to create and score. Mitchell is clearly the heart and soul of this Jazz team but Rudy Gobert is the anchor.
The Clippers offense is actually just a drive/kick so Gobert matches up well with them as he can easily rotate and is always present at the rim. Gobert moves his feet quick, has good timing and pretty tenacious, he is changing everything for the Clippers down the stretch, forcing them to kick out and make contested jumpers.
The Jazz are just the better team right now, they have a system, they defend, they have a consistent spark off the bench in Clarkson and more depth. They are gritty, head coach Quin Snyder adjusts and they have a star talent in Donovan Mitchell who loves the moment.
The Over is 6-1 in Utah’s last seven overall, 6-1 in Utah’s last seven games when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game, 6-1 in Utah’s last seven games when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game and 6-1 in Utah’s last seven games after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
For the Jazz, Donovan Mitchell is projected to finish with 25.5 points, 4.7 assists and 4.0 rebounds, making 9.1 field goals in 19.8 attempts.
For the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard is expected to score 28.5 points with 7.5 rebounds and 7.1 assists, making 10.4 field goals in 18.5 attempts.
Four-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend pick on the Over in this one. Average score in simulations is Utah Jazz 114.7 to Los Angeles Clippers 114.3.