Clippers find irony in scoring struggles before losing to Jazz > Dogecointool

Clippers find irony in scoring struggles before losing to Jazz

The Clippers’ stalwart point guard whipped out an invisible dictionary.

How could it be possible, through nine games to start the season, that these Clippers were dead-last in the league in points per game? In offensive efficiency? These Clippers – even continuing to miss Kawhi Leonard — with Paul George, John Wall, Norman Powell and a crew of veteran talent capable of going for 30 on any given night?

So guard Reggie Jackson, who’s struggled himself to a 36% start from the field, put it extravagantly in the pregame locker room Sunday night:

“Definitely, it’s an oxymoron,” Jackson said. “All the talent we’ve acquired, all of the offensive firepower we have, we [have] one of the worst offensive ratings. So, it’s just a little ironic.”

Not one of — the worst, actually, heading into a Sunday clash with an upstart Utah Jazz team. Superstar George had done his part, averaging 23.8 points a night to start the year, on a tear over his last three games. Something had to give around him. Someone had to give.

But the Clippers just didn’t get enough Sunday, the oxymoron growing, a red-hot George accounting for 34 of their 102 points only to fall to a feisty Jazz squad that bombed and attacked their way to a 110-102 win.

Utah Jazz guard Talen Horton-Tucker puts up a shot between Clippers center Ivica Zubac and forward Robert Covington.

Utah Jazz guard Talen Horton-Tucker, center, puts up a shot between Clippers center Ivica Zubac, left, and forward Robert Covington during the first half.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

After a 15-point first quarter, the Clippers fighting for every inch against a Jazz team bombing away from three-point range, he grabbed a rebound down 46-40 in the second and went to work, drawing a foul.

Then came the smoothness, the no-sweat-handles that make George’s monster games seem just about easier than any superstar in the NBA’s, the mixing and shaking for a hop-step floater. Then a drive into the Jazz’s Kelly Olynyk, bumping him out of the way, finishing a sweet left-hand-layup. Then a staredown of Olynyk, kicking out, getting a pass back and just cold burying a three in Olynyk’s grill.

Suddenly, George had 24 with three minutes to go in the half and the Clippers had cut the lead to one.

But the Jazz, sensing the lack of a certain 7-foot Croatian on the floor, grabbed the momentum right back.

Before the game, Jackson shook his head, eyes widening at the thought: his starting center Ivica Zubac, through nine games, was first in the entire league in blocks per game.

“Yeah, it’s crazy,” Jackson said.

UP NEXT

VS. CLEVELAND

When: 7:30 p.m. Monday

On the air: TV: Bally Sports SoCal, NBA TV; Radio: 570, 1220

Update: The Cavaliers (8-1) own the second-best record in the NBA after winning their eighth consecutive game Sunday, 114-100 over the Lakers. The Clippers will have to deal with former Utah Jazz All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, who is averaging a fourth-best 31.4 points per game and 6.5 assists for Cleveland.

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