NBA

Clippers cruise past Jazz behind Leonard, George's big nights

Kawhi Leonard had 34 points and 12 rebounds and Paul George added 31 points, as the Los Angeles Clippers won Game 3, 132-106, against the Utah Jazz Saturday night.

Leonard and George combine for 65 points in LA's 132-106 victory

Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard, left, scored 34 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and five assists in the Clippers' game three 132-106 win over the Utah Jazz Saturday night. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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.

"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 per cent 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.

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.

"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 defence 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."

WATCH | North Courts panel on expectations for Canadian women's basketball team in Tokyo:

What are the expectations for the Canadian Women’s team in Tokyo?

4 months ago
13:07
Vivek Jacob, Jevohn Shepherd, and Meghan McPeak discuss the WNBA’s #WearOrange initiative, Kia Nurse’s emergence with the Phoenix Mercury, and Team Canada’s lofty expectations heading into the Olympics. 13:07

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now