The LA Clippers (4-2) got Jazzed last night by Utah (3-2) and suffered their first road loss 106-100. Although the Clips made it a close game in the end, poor starts to both halves proved too much to overcome, and ultimately did them in. They fought back from a 20 point deficit to have a chance to take a lead late, but some missed shots and dagger three’s kept them from stealing this one.
STAR OF THE GAME
Easily Mike Conley. This guy always saves his best stuff for the Clippers. No matter how badly he is struggling prior, he somehow has terrific games against LAC seemingly every time. Last night was no different. He scored a game high 33 points, making a whopping 7 out of 14 3 pointers. Including some clutch ones down the stretch. For a guy who has never been an All-Star he certainly played like one in this game. He continues to be one of the most underrated players in the NBA. Without him, the Clips very likely would’ve stolen this one.
The Clippers’ shooting. No one could buy a basket in this game. Practically everyone struggled from the field. As a team they shot a dismal 39%. It was the good free throw shooting that kept them in the game as they made 21 out of 24 from the line. At times it seemed like there was a lid on their basket, as guys were blowing chip shot after chip shot right at the rim, and bricking wide open jumpers. Although he scored 25 points, Paul George especially struggled as he got his making only 6 out of 22 of shots. The team also has a hard time making plays when it gets tight down the stretch. This was their first tight game of the season yes, but this has been a problem going back to last year. They are still in need of a true point guard, and last night that problem reared its ugly head.
Joe Ingles, though it shouldn’t be much of a surprise since he- like Conley- typically plays well against LAC. It seems he is still butthurt that they cut him years ago and he always plays them with a vengeance. Last night he got a near triple double scoring 11 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 7 assists. He plays slow yes (Slow-Mo Joe is his nickname) but while on the floor it comes across more as deliberate, methodical, and smart. This guy is never going to make an All-Star team, but he helps your team win whenever he is out on the floor. A top-tier glue-guy role player.