LOS ANGELES — Kawhi Leonard scored 18 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 105-94 victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday night (Monday, Manila time).
Leonard’s scoring surge helped the Clippers erase a double-digit second-half deficit and remain unbeaten (4-0) at home. He only made 9 of 26 shots, but with the game tied at 86, Leonard scored six points to spark a 19-8 run to close out the victory.
Montrezl Harrell scored 19 points and Lou Williams added 17 for the Clippers.
Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 36 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 19.
After trailing by eight points in the opening quarter, the Clippers opened the second quarter on a 20-4 run. Landry Shamet’s 3-pointer gave Los Angeles a 36-24 lead at the 4:53 mark. The Jazz responded with a 17-3 run to finish the quarter and Mitchell’s basket in the final minute gave Utah a 41-39 lead at the break.
Both teams shot under 35 percent in the opening half. Leonard made just one of nine shots in the first half and scored only five points.
Jazz: Utah coach Quin Snyder served as an assistant for the Clippers for the 1992-93 season. “It was a great experience for me to work with Coach Larry Brown and with so many others who went onto to have historic careers.” ... The Jazz entered Sunday’s game as the NBA’s No. 1 defensive team, allowing 94 points per game.
Clippers: The Clippers have the fourth best regular season record (407-239) since the start of the 2011-12 season. Only the San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder have more victories during that span.
MICHAEL JORDAN-KAWHI LEONARD-ALAN IVERSON COMPARSIONS
In his availability prior to the game, Clippers coach Doc Rivers compared Leonard to Michael Jordan and Alan Iverson. “Kawhi’s body type is more similar to Michael Jordan’s than anyone in the league and Kawhi has the toughness of Alan Iverson.”
PAUL GEORGE UPDATE
“Paul is working hard and putting in a lot of ‘live’ work,” said Rivers. “We don’t have a timeline on his return yet, but we’ll be reassessing it next week.” George was on the floor shooting and warming up with the Clippers prior to the game.”
Jazz: host Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Clippers: host Milwaukee on Wednesday.