The Utah Jazz did what they had to do as the home team in the first two games to make things 2-0. While some people may have felt that the series was already over at that point, I certainly didn’t. This LA Clippers team is just too talented to lie down and give up.
For the Clippers, it was a return to some semblance of normalcy, where the home team and actual favorite is able to get it done in front of their own fans. Their previous series against Dallas was topsy-turvy and the home team only one once, which was in Game 7.
Paul George, who’s gotten a lot of flak for his bad shooting in the playoffs so far, sent out a strong reminder today that the talent’s there. He shots 12 of 24 and 6 of 10 from the free throw line to finish with 31 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal.
LA’s other star, Kawhi Leonard, didn’t have a quiet game either. He went 14 of 24 from the field (1 of 6 from deep) and ended the game with 34 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and a block.
Funnily enough, the 65 combined points that Leonard and George scored in Game 3 is the exact same total they had in Game 3 against the Dallas Mavericks in the first round.
Jazz star Donovan Mitchell was able to score 30 points, but didn’t get enough help from his teammates on the offensive end. He had no other teammates hit the 20-point mark, and that’s going to be a problem when PG and Kawhi both get cooking./
The thing that will make the Clippers happiest is the 132-106 margin of victory. After losing two close games on a road, a huge home win is a massive morale booster and momentum changer. The two games in Utah were decided by a total of 9 points. In this win, the Clippers led by as much as 28 and finished up 26.
Utah will simply have to pick themselves up and focus on the next game. This is going to be a long series, and that’s a great prospect for NBA fans.
One thing’s for sure. George is the happiest man to leave that court today.