Clippers drop preseason opener to Jazz as Russell Westbrook sits out – Orange County Register


HONOLULU — Clippers stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George logged 15 first-half minutes each, while Russell Westbrook sat out the team’s preseason opener against the Utah Jazz on Sunday night in Hawaii.

Leonard had 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting to go with two rebounds, two steals and one assist, while George had eight points on 3-for-7 shooting to go with five rebounds, two assists and two steals in the Clippers’ 101-96 loss in front of a near-capacity crowd of 10,263 at the University of Hawaii’s Stan Sheriff Center.

Backup point guard Bones Hyland paced the Clippers with 18 points in 24 minutes, the only starter to play more than 20 minutes. He shot 7 for 8 from inside the arc but missed all six of his 3-point attempts and added four assists and two blocked shots.

Xavier Moon added nine points and four assists in 23 minutes, Moussa Diabate had eight points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes and Kenyon Martin Jr. had seven points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes.

Clippers coach Ty Lue had told reporters on Saturday that the team would have everyone available for the game, but some last-minute changes were made to the injury report. The team announced that veteran forward Marcus Morris would be sidelined with a left groin strain, and Lue told reporters before tip-off that Westbrook and veteran forward Nicolas Batum would be held out for rest.

With Westbrook, Batum, and Morris sidelined, the Clippers started Terance Mann alongside Leonard, George, Hyland and veteran center Ivica Zubac.

Kris Dunn made all seven of his shots and finished with 15 points and five assists to pace Utah. Former Laker Talen Horton-Tucker had 13 points and six rebounds for the Jazz, who outscored the Clippers 26-16 in the third quarter to turn a seven-point halftime deficit into a 69-66 lead.

Lauri Markkanen added 10 points and eight rebounds. Keyonte George, the 16th overall pick in this year’s draft, had 10 points and five assists, but he shot just 2 for 9 from the field (1 for 6 from 3-point range).

The teams will square off in another preseason game Tuesday night in Seattle before the Clippers return to Los Angeles after spending the first week of training camp in Hawaii.



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