The Utah Jazz suffered a disappointing loss to Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena. The Clippers extended their winning streak to 10 games with a final score of 96-87.
The Jazz started the game off hot, shooting an impressive 61 percent from the field and 75 percent from the three-point line. Coupled with aggressive defense, fans watched the Jazz play some of the best basketball that Utah has seen all season long.
Despite the loss, Jazz fans got their money's worth tonight after watching powerful put-back dunks from the likes of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, arguably two of the most glorified dunkers in the NBA. Derrick Favors, who led the Jazz with 18 points and nine rebounds, also showed Jazz fans that the state of Utah has some highfliers as well.
Things were looking great in the opening minutes of the game, until 20 turnovers happened. Trey Burke, Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks scored the ball well and gave their teammates scoring opportunities, but they couldn’t take care of the ball in traffic. Overall, the guard play was average at best. Though they opened game with excellent execution, they couldn’t seem to keep their composure in the second half when the Clippers turned up the pressure.
Richard Jefferson and Enes Kanter came out to play tonight. Both scored in double figures and put up a good fight against the L.A.’s forwards. Enes Kanter made his presence known by scoring 11 points and grabbing 15 rebounds for a solid double-double.
It is obvious why Jazz fans love their big man, Derrick Favors. He comes to play every night and shows no fear regardless of who is on the other side of the ball. Favors scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds, just one shy of a double-double. It is safe to say that Favors is building a strong brand for himself in the league as one of its younger up-and-coming stars.
Coach Corbin and his staff couldn’t have done a better job with defensive matchups in the first half. It was evident as Utah’s aggressive defense held the Clippers to only 40 percent shooting from the field and 33 percent from the three-point line. The downfall in tonight’s coaching battle was that of Corbin’s inability to inspire his team to match the pressure and intensity of the L.A. Clippers in the second half. It was all downhill from that point on.
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Los Angeles Clippers:
The Clippers came out of the gate flatfooted. The typical high-flying Clippers that we all know were nowhere to be found in the first half. Their shooting was below average and their defense was not as feisty as usual, until the third quarter came around. Whatever Doc Rivers told them during the halftime break must have sunk in deep into his player’s minds. They came out and ended the second half shooting 58 percent from the field and held the Jazz to only 40.5 percent. It was almost like the two teams decided to trade game plans and intensity. As the old saying goes, “How the tables have turned.”
Jonathan Ubri is a graduate of Brigham Young University–Idaho and works as a Digital Marketing Strategist for Deseret Digital Media. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org