NBA playoffs

Clippers rout Jazz to get back in Western semis

Clippers rout Jazz to get back in Western semis

IN CONTROL. Clippers star Kawhi Leonard passes the ball while defended by Jazz guard Miye Oni (left) and center Rudy Gobert.

Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Clippers return to life as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George team up for 65 points against the Jazz

Kawhi Leonard recorded 34 points and Paul George scored 31 to help the host Los Angeles Clippers post a 132-106 victory over the Utah Jazz to cut their deficit to 2-1 in the Western Conference semifinals on Saturday night, June 12 (Sunday, June 13, Manila time).  

Reggie Jackson and Nicolas Batum added 17 points apiece for the fourth-seeded Los Angeles, which closed the game with a 26-11 run. Leonard added 12 rebounds.

Donovan Mitchell scored 30 points in 32 minutes for top-seeded Utah but missed the final seven minutes after tweaking his right ankle. He also sat because the score became one-sided.

Game 4 is Monday night at Los Angeles.

Utah’s Mike Conley missed his third straight contest due to a hamstring injury.

Joe Ingles scored 19 points for the Jazz. Jordan Clarkson added 14 points, Rudy Gobert contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Royce O’Neale also scored 12 points.

The Clippers made 19-of-36 from three-point range while shooting 56.2% overall. George was 6-of-10 from long range, Jackson made 5-of-6 and Batum hit 4-of-6.

The Jazz shot 42.9% from the field and were 19-of-44 from behind the arc. Mitchell was 5-of-9 and Ingles made 5-o- 8.

Utah trailed 106-95 after a three-pointer by Clarkson with 7:18 left.

Mitchell appeared to reinjure the ankle on the next possession and left the contest. The Clippers took advantage by scoring 10 straight points, with Leonard and Batum draining consecutive triples to cap the spurt and make it 116-95 with 5:22 left.

Mitchell was pleading with Jazz coach Quin Snyder during the latter portion of the Los Angeles run to let him go back into the game but was turned down.

Mitchell joined Utah legend Karl Malone as the lone players in franchise history to score at least 30 points in five straight postseason contests. Malone did it six straight times (three in 1995, three in 1996).

The Clippers led 66-49 after Leonard’s basket to start the second half but the Jazz whittled away and moved within 84-76 on a three-pointer by Bojan Bogdanovic with 4:02 left in the third quarter.

But Los Angeles scored 10 of the next 14 points to take a 14-point advantage on Luke Kennard’s trey before holding a 94-83 edge heading into the final stanza.

George scored 20 first-half points as Los Angeles held a 64-49 lead.

Mitchell scored his first points of the game with 7:34 remaining in the first half to start a run in which he scored 16 straight Utah points. –