Clarkson, Sexton lead jazz past Clippers, 110-102

LOS ANGELES (AP) Jordan Clarkson scored 23 points, reserve Collin Sexton added 22 and the Utah Jazz defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 110-102 on Sunday night.

The Jazz rallied after leading by 10 points in the first half and trailing in the third and fourth quarters.

“Finding ways to win is fun,” said rookie Utah coach Will Hardy. “I am very proud of the team that has achieved 20 turnovers.”

The Jazz are second in the Western Conference 8-3. They earned a rare sweep in Los Angeles after beating the Lakers 130-116 on Friday.

Paul George scored 34 points, the third time in four games that he had surpassed 30, but Los Angeles had broken its winning streak of three games. Marcus Morris added 18 points for the Clippers. Kawhi Leonard missed his eighth game while suffering from knee stiffness.

“We have to stick together,” said Nicolas Batum. ”It will be fine.”

The Clippers missed all 11 of their 3-point attempts in the fourth. George missed several shots on the stretch as the Jazz pulled away after clearing a four-point deficit.

“Lauri (Markkanen) did a really good job of making Paul George work hard not only to get shots but also to get the ball,” said Hardy. ”Not all 11 (3-pointers) were perfectly guarded. There were only a few that were missed.”

The Jazz scored nine in a row, capped by Malik Beasley’s three-pointer to take the lead for good with 5 1/2 minutes to go. It was part of a 14-2 run that extended Utah’s lead to 106-98. Sexton had seven points in the sprint.

“I’m starting to feel more and more comfortable,” Sexton said. “Just be ready and be there for the whole game.”

The Clippers pulled within four on a dunk and inside basket by Ivica Zubac before Sexton dunk with 54 seconds left.

“We fought the whole game and we didn’t fall when Paul George made a difficult shot,” said Sexton.

Sexton fed Markkanen for an inner basket in the closing seconds. Markkanen played his first season in Utah, finishing with 18 points and nine rebounds.

Clarkson’s three-pointer early in the fourth made it 87-all.

The Clippers scored the first seven points of the third to reach a draw of 63. They closed five times within two minutes before John Wall’s steal and basket forced an 81 draw.

Wall followed with a dunk that gave the Clippers the lead for the first time since the first quarter.

The Jazz took an 84-83 lead over Clarkson’s three-pointer before Wall scored again, leaving the Clippers in fourth with a one-point lead.

George’s 3 pulled the Clippers within one before the Jazz closed on a 13-7 run to go into halftime with a 63-56 lead. Markkanen scored 11 of Utah’s runs in the sprint when he made all five of his free throw attempts.

TIP-INS

Jazz: Markkanen didn’t miss a shot in the first half. He scored all four of his field goals and made his only 3-point try in addition to all five free throws for 14 points. … Jarrod Vanderbilt sat outside with right adductor pain.

Clippers: Robert Covington returned after missing four games while in league health and safety protocols. … Luke Kennard sat outside with chest discomfort. He will be tested further on Monday.

NEXT ONE

Jazz: Host the Lakers on Monday to close a back-to-back. Utah leads 4-0 at home.

Clippers: Host Cleveland on Monday in the second game from a back-to-back.

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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