EditorsNote: Clarifies free-throw sequence in graf 5; other minor edits
Kawhi Leonard shook off a slow start and scored 25 of his 30 points in the second half to spark the host Los Angeles Clippers to a 105-94 victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday night.
Leonard scored 18 points in the fourth quarter to help the Clippers hold off the Jazz. He made just 9 of 26 shots from the floor and only 2 of 8 of his 3-pointers, but his solid performance in the second half lifted Los Angeles.
Montrezl Harrell scored 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds, including six offensive boards, for the Clippers (5-2). Lou Williams added 17 points, while Ivica Zubac chipped in 11 points and nine rebounds.
Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz (4-3) with 36 points. Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 19 points. Rudy Gobert had 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Two free throws by Mitchell cut the Clippers’ lead to 91-90 with 2:58 remaining. But a 3-pointer by JaMychal Green (who had 12 points), four free throws by Leonard, and one more by Harrell allowed the Clippers to stretch the lead to 99-90 with 1:38 to play. Los Angeles was able to keep Utah at a distance from there.
In the third, the Jazz grabbed a 61-51 lead after a tip-in by Tony Bradley with 3:55 remaining in the quarter. But the Clippers cut the deficit to 69-65 to end the third.
After a Bradley dunk gave Utah a 24-20 edge less than two minutes into the second quarter, the Clippers answered with a 16-0 run, capped by Landry Shamet’s 3-pointer for a 36-24 advantage with 4:57 left.
However, the Jazz ended the quarter on a 17-3 surge to seize a 41-39 lead at the break.
The Clippers outrebounded the Jazz 54-37, including 18-6 on the offensive end. Neither team shot well, with the Jazz connecting on 39.7 percent of their shots compared to 39.1 for the Clippers.
The Jazz played without reserve guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who had tightness in his left hamstring. Center-forward Ed Davis also missed the game after sustaining a fractured left fibula in the team’s loss to the Sacramento Kings on Friday. Davis is expected to miss at least a month.
—Field Level Media