AP

Leonard, George help Clippers beat Jazz, cut deficit to 2-1

Jun 13, 2021, 1:44 PM
Jazz Clippers NBA Series...
Los Angeles Clippers guard Reggie Jackson, left, smiles as Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson after scoring during the second half of Game 3 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clippers coach Tyronn Lue was looking for a prime performance from both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. They both delivered Grade A games to get Los Angeles back into its second-round series against Utah.

Leonard scored 34 points and George added 31 in the Clippers’ 132-106 victory in Game 3 on Saturday night. It is the second time both have scored at least 30 in the same playoff game, and helped No. 4 seed LA cut top-seeded Utah’s series lead to 2-1.

RELATED: WATCH: Utah Jazz surprise first scholarship recipients in heartwarming video calls

“We know that they are two of the best in the league,” Lue said. “Like I said yesterday, I don’t go to Mastro’s to order the ketchup. I go to order the steak. And tonight, our guys want steak. That’s what we need.”

George shot only 34.3% from the field in the first two games but was 12 of 24, including 6 of 10 on 3-pointers. He had 13 points in the second quarter, eight during a 13-2 run when LA seized control and took a 57-41 advantage with 2:54 remaining.

“I think I just shot my shots, got the shots I’m most comfortable with and stuck with it,” George said.

RELATED: Utah Jazz playoff games give sports bars a boost in business

Leonard scored 24 points in the second half. It is his fourth career postseason game with at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Three have come in his two seasons with the Clippers.

The big nights from Leonard and George helped offset another high-scoring game from Donovan Mitchell. The guard led Utah with 30 points, his fifth straight games with at least 30. The last player to do that was Leonard last year in the first round against Dallas.

“We kind of let them get comfortable. George hit some shots, but we can make it tougher on him and Kawhi,” Mitchell said.

Reggie Jackson and Nicolas Batum added 17 points apiece for the Clippers. LA had struggled from the perimeter in the first two games but was 19 of 36 on 3-pointers with many coming on open looks.

Heart of Utah: Jazz fan and runner shows off how much we all have in common

“Shots go in or not, our job is to keep being aggressive for ourselves and others,” Leonard said. “If Paul has it going, we’re going to go to him. If I got it going, it’s going to come to me. But if anybody else on the team has it going, we are going to try to get them the next shot as well.”

Joe Ingles had 19 points for Utah and Jordan Clarkson added 14. The Jazz were 19 of 44 on 3-pointers, but 17 of 40 inside the arc as the Clippers’ zone defense caused problems. Utah committed 16 turnovers, which led to 24 LA points.

“I’ve said it the last two games as well. Kawhi and PG, they’re capable of really making plays and they made plays for other people. There’s going to be times where it’s tough to stop them from making shots,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said. “Some of the breakdowns and the cleaner looks that they get, particularly tonight I thought in transition when we attacked the basket there’s got to be urgency to recognize that situation and really get back and show a crowd where they don’t have clear lanes to the basket.”

MITCHELL’S NIGHT

Mitchell appeared to tweak his ankle midway through the fourth quarter and did not return to the game. Snyder and Mitchell both said that the game was out of hand by that point.

“I feel like I was able to go back, but no need to risk it down 16, 18 at that point,” Mitchell said. “It doesn’t make sense to go back out there and possibly tweak it. Just rest and get ready for the next game.

Mitchell missed his first four shots, including a pair of drives to the basket, and didn’t make his first basket until there was 7:34 left in the second quarter. He then proceeded to score

Utah’s next 16 points, which included four 3-pointers.

It was the first time in his last 23 games that Mitchell had gone scoreless in the first quarter.

“We just made an emphasis that he’s not going to beat us tonight,” said George of Mitchell. “We’re going to force everybody else to play and we’re just not going to let him walk in shots tonight and get the looks that he wanted early tonight.

TIP-INS

Jazz: Ruby Gobert had 12 points and 10 rebounds. … Clarkson was assessed a Flagrant-1 foul for slapping Ivica Zubac in the face after a rebound 20 seconds into the second quarter. … Guard Mike Conley missed his third straight game because of a mild right hamstring strain.

Clippers: LA had lost eight straight playoff games at Staples Center but has won its last two. … Jackson had five 3-pointers, Batum added four and Luke Kennard had a pair in the second half to keep the lead in double digits.
___
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Today’s Top Stories

AP

TikTok shown on a phone. TikTok is proving influential in poliitics...
DAVID KLEPPER Associated Press

TikTok politics: Candidates turn to it ‘for better or worse’

TikTok isn't just about viral dance challenges anymore, but also a place to shop, learn about beauty, fashion or even politics.
3 days ago
Damage from Hurricane Ian...
ADRIANA GOMEZ-LICON Associated Press

Ian returns to hurricane status, meanwhile floods trap many in Florida

Hours after weakening to a tropical depression while crossing the Florida peninsula, Ian regained hurricane strength Thursday evening after emerging over the Atlantic Ocean.
4 days ago
An uprooted tree, toppled by strong winds from the outer bands of Hurricane Ian, rests in a parking...
CURT ANDERSON Associated Press

Ian makes landfall in southwest Florida as Category 4 storm

About 2.5 million people had been ordered to evacuate the area before the storm hit the coast on Wednesday with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph (241 kph).
5 days ago
The White House to ask for less money to fund border wall...
ACACIA CORONADO and GISELA SALOMON Associated Press

Increase in Venezuelan migration is felt across US

Last month, Venezuelans surpassed Guatemalans and Hondurans to become the second-largest nationality stopped at the U.S. border after Mexicans.
7 days ago
In Iran, protests have led to violent clashes between citizens and security forces. Protesters pict...
The Associated Press

At least 9 killed as Iran protests over woman’s death spread

The scope of Iran's ongoing unrest, the worst in several years, still remains unclear as protesters in more than a dozen cities.
10 days ago
U.S. Capitol pictured. The House just voted on an election law...
MARY CLARE JALONICK Associated Press

House passes election law overhaul in response to Jan. 6

The bill, which is similar to bipartisan legislation moving through the Senate, would overhaul an arcane 1800s-era statute known as the Electoral Count Act
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Leonard, George help Clippers beat Jazz, cut deficit to 2-1