Paul George has recorded 34 points, six assists and four steals in his first game in more than three months, and the Los Angeles Clippers overcame a 25-point deficit in Tuesday night’s 121-115 win over visiting Utah Jazz.
George made 6 of 93-point attempts and played 31 minutes in his first action since 22 December. He was out with an elbow injury. Reggie Jackson contributed 21 points, Luke Kenard 17 and Isaiah Hertenstein 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Los Angeles.
The Clippers (37-39) ended the game with a 34-12 lead and stopped the five-game losing streak.
Donovan Mitchell had 33 points and six assists and Rudy Gobert took 16 rebounds as Utah lost its fifth consecutive tournament. Mike Conley scored 19 points, Jordan Clarkson added 17, Juancho Hernangomez added 13 and Rudy Gay added 11.
🔥 34 PTS | 6 AST | 4 STL | 6 pm 3 pm 6 pic.twitter.com/9uGogYEn1E
– NBA (BANBA) March 30, 2022
Utah (45-31) fell two games behind fourth-ranked Dallas Mavericks in a homecourt battle for the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs. Jazz is in fifth place with the Denver Nuggets.
Kennard hit a 3-pointer to give Los Angeles a 117-115 edge to the left at 1:06 and Jackson made three free throws in the final 14.9 seconds to help the Clippers seal it.
Utah shot 55.1 percent, including 12 of 31 from the 3-point range. Los Angeles left 9:09 to lead the Jazz 16 before dominating the rest of the competition.
Clippers were attached to 49.4 percent of their shots and 15 of the 36 from behind the arc.
George started a 13-0 run by draining a tray to the left at 5:37 while Los Angeles charged his late-game. Jackson and Hertenstein added a basket to pull the clippers between 109-106 with 4:28 play, and Jackson scored another basket to turn it into a one-point game.
3:24 Hertenstein’s basket on the left gave Los Angeles its first lead, 110-109. He added another hoop to cap the run and turned it into a three-point lead with 2:48 left.
Mitchell and Clarkson responded with a basket at 1:56 left to give Utah a 113-112 lead. However, the Clippers have maintained their winning streak for only the third time in their last 11 games.
The Jazz led 61-48 at halftime and started the third quarter with a 15-3 burst, taking a 76-51 lead at 8:07 left to Gobert’s Dunk.
But George scored 20 points in the quarter as Los Angeles worked to close the gap. George scored 10 points at the end of a 12-4 burst, and the Clippers entered the final stop 94-82.
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