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    Clippers even their preseason record by beating Jazz in Seattle
    • October 11, 2023

    SEATTLE — Kawhi Leonard scored a team-high 16 points and the Clippers evened their preseason record with a 103-98 victory over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night in the second annual “Rain City Classic.”

    Two days after the teams squared off in Honolulu, the Clippers got the better of the Jazz in the rematch at Climate Pledge Arena. Point guard Russell Westbrook and veteran forward Nicolas Batum, both healthy scratches on Sunday, made their preseason debuts but three Clippers sat out with injuries and starting center Ivica Zubac played just five minutes before taking a seat.

    The team opened training camp fully healthy last week, but Zubac (back spasms), guard Norman Powell (strained left groin), forward Marcus Morris Sr. (strained left groin) and guard Brandon Boston Jr. (knee contusion) are all on the team’s injury report.

    The Clippers, who have just two exhibition games remaining before their Oct. 25 season opener against Portland, do have a pair of healthy All-Star wings.

    Leonard shot 5 for 12 from the field (4 for 10 from 3-point range) in his 20 minutes, while Paul George had three points, four rebounds and five assists in 20 minutes on a rough shooting night (1 for 9 overall, 1 for 6 from 3-point range).

    Westbrook made his return to the city that drafted him, when the SuperSonics made the former UCLA and Leuzinger High standout the fourth overall pick in the 2008 draft. The team left for Oklahoma City before Westbrook got a chance to suit up in Seattle. The former league MVP was held scoreless in 15 minutes but had five rebounds, three assists, two steals and three turnovers while missing his only shot – a 3-point attempt.

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    The Clippers pulled Leonard, George and Westbrook with a 49-39 lead at halftime, but the cushion grew to 19 points before the Jazz erased most of it before the end of the third quarter.

    Robert Covington started and finished with 11 points, three rebounds, four blocked shots and two steals in 22 minutes for the Clippers. Amir Coffey scored 15 points off the bench, Moussa Diabate had nine points, six rebounds, three blocks and two steals in 23 minutes and Xavier Moon had nine points.

    Former Laker Talen Horton-Tucker had 24 points on 9-for-18 shooting and seven assists to pace the Jazz (1-1). Lauri Markkanen had 16 points and eight rebounds, Jordan Clarkson had 12 points and five assists and rookie Keyonte George had 10 points and five assists.

    ​ Orange County Register