Clippers notched a victory over Jazz on Monday night


Kawhi Leonard recorded 31 points and seven rebounds before exiting with an apparent injury as the Los Angeles Clippers notched a 118-104 victory over the Utah Jazz on Monday night to tie their Western Conference semi-final series at two games apiece.

Paul George also scored 31 points and collected nine rebounds to help the Clippers win their second straight game in the best-of-seven series. Marcus Morris Sr scored 22 of his 24 points during a first half in which Los Angeles led by as many as 29 points.

Donovan Mitchell poured in 37 points to tie the Utah franchise playoff record of six straight 30-point outings held by Hall of Famer Karl Malone (three in 1995, three in 1996).

Leonard left the contest with 4:35 remaining and didn’t return. His departure came less than a minute after he grabbed at his right knee following a collision with the Jazz’s Joe Ingles.

“Nah, I’ll be good,” said Leonard postgame after being asked about the injury.

Los Angeles Clippers starters

Paul George3194
Marcus Morris Sr.2461
Kawhi Leonard3173
Nicolas Batum774
Reggie Jackson413

Utah’s Mike Conley (hamstring) sat out and has missed all four games of the series.

Ingles scored 19 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 for the top-seeded Jazz, who shot 42.9 per cent from the field and were 17 of 42 (40.5 per cent) from three-point range.

Fourth-seeded Los Angeles made 46.8 per cent of their shots and hit 15 of 37 (40.5 per cent) from behind the arc.

Utah Jazz starters

Donovan Mitchell3755
Bogdan Bogdanovic1835
Royce O’Neal882
Rudy Gobert1180
Joe Ingles1933

Ingles drained a three-pointer to pull Utah within 112-102 with 2:10 left before Los Angeles scored six of the next seven points en route to closing out the game.

Utah trailed 68-44 at half-time but trimmed the deficit to 14 early in the third quarter. George tallied five points during a 9-3 burst to give the Clippers an 84-64 advantage with 4:12 left in the stanza.

Los Angeles took a 94-73 lead into the final period. Luke Kennard’s three-pointer increased the Clippers’ advantage to 101-75 with 10:37 remaining before Utah answered with a 19-6 spurt to move within 13 points with 3:56 to play. Morris made all five of his first-half three-point attempts while leading the Clippers to the 24-point edge at the break.

The Clippers held a 20-6 lead after Leonard’s basket just six-and-a-half minutes into the game, eventually seeing out the quarter with a 30-13 cushion as they took control early.

They kept their foot on the pedal, and two free throws by Morris increased the lead to 51-22 with 5:21 left in the first half, during which Mitchell scored 21 points.