Jazz dismantle undermanned Clippers for 9th straight win
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points, Rudy Gobert had 23 points and 20 rebounds, and the Utah Jazz rolled past the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers 114-96 on Wednesday night for their ninth consecutive victory.
Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points for the NBA-leading Jazz, who improved to 24-5 with their 20th win in 21 games. After three tight quarters, Utah broke it open in the fourth to win this matchup of Western Conference powerhouses — although it wasn't a proper showdown with the Clippers missing injured superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
The Jazz beat the Clippers for the ninth time in the teams' last 12 matchups despite a rough first half that didn't resemble Utah's impressive recent play. Utah opened up a tight game with a 14-2 run spanning the third and fourth quarters, followed by a 16-3 run to put it away.
Lou Williams scored 16 points and Reggie Jackson added 15 for the Clippers, whose four-game winning streak ended.
The Clippers were profoundly disadvantaged in this heavyweight matchup: Leonard missed his third straight game with a bruised leg, and George missed his seventh straight with an injured toe. Nicolas Batum also sat out with a concussion, leaving LA without three regular starters.
The Clips fell to 3-2 this season when playing without both Leonard and George.
The Jazz played without Mike Conley, who had hamstring tightness.
The Clippers' supporting cast still made Utah uncomfortable on offense throughout the first half, taking a 51-46 lead while soundly outrebounding Utah, forcing poor shots and bothering its usually fluid ball movement.
Jazz: Conley has missed six straight games. ... Clarkson, the former Lakers guard, scored 11 points in the second half. He dropped 40 on the 76ers on Monday.
Clippers: Batum missed his second straight game after taking a shot to the head last week. ... Patrick Beverley returned after missing Monday's win over Miami to rest on the second date of a back-to-back set.
The teams meet again Friday at Staples Center.
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