SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – If the second game of an 82-game schedule is any indication, this could be a wild ride for the Utah Jazz this season.
Jordan Clarkson made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 28 seconds left and then forced Kawhi Leonard into a tough missed shot on the other end as the Utah Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers 120-118 on Friday night.
Lauri Markkanen had 35 points and 12 rebounds and Kelly Olynk added 15 points, including consecutive 3-pointers to make it 111-109 for Utah as it went back-and-forth down the stretch.
Paul George scored 36 points and went 15 for 15 from the line while Leonard finished with 25 points in his first appearance on the court here against the Jazz since Game 2 of the 2021 Western Conference semifinals.
Norman Powell scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Clippers’ comeback.
George gave the Clippers a 118-117 lead with two free throws with 41 seconds remaining before Clarkson dribbled his way into a tough 3 from the right angle in front of the Jazz bench.
Leonard missed a 3 with Clarkson draped on him and then Russell Westbrook missed a rebound try from 18 feet at the buzzer.
The Clippers have lost 12 straight regular season games in Utah with their last win coming on Feb. 13, 2017, when Blake Griffin had 26 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
The Clippers took their first lead of the game on Nicolas Batum’s 3, which capped a 17-4 surge and made it 104-101 with 5:49 to play.
George scored 15 points in the third quarter to help the Clippers pull to 89-83 entering the fourth.
The Jazz made their first five 3s of the second quarter to fuel a 15-4 run. Horton-Tucker’s 3 gave Utah its biggest lead of the game at 50-36.
After making just nine 3s in season-opening blowout loss to Sacramento, the Jazz were 16 for 41 against the Clippers for their first win of the season.
The Jazz play their first road game of the season at Phoenix on Saturday.