It was late in the third quarter and the Jazz were beating one of the best teams in the Western Conference.
But then the deluge of turnovers came, hard and fast in the final 2:38 of the third, washing away the Jazz’s chances of upsetting the high-flying Clippers.
There were the two giveaways apiece from Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward. And there was the shot clock violation, as the Jazz were unable to penetrate the Clippers’ swarming defense. The lead kept slipping, from five points to none, flipping eventually to a five-point deficit by the end of the third quarter.
The final 2:38 of the period proved to be the death knell for the Jazz, whose 20 turnovers were too much to overcome against a team as good as the Clippers.
"They got aggressive, they put their hands on us and got us out of our offense," Jazz coach Ty Corbin said. "We turned the ball over and they got transition baskets."
By the time it was over, the Jazz had given up 31 points off the turnovers, including 19 in the second half. That allowed the Clippers to escape with a win on night they appeared beatable — something rare during their 10-game winning streak.
"I think we had about seven or eight turnovers where we had something there, but it may have gotten tipped, somebody may have got their hand on it," said Trey Burke, who had three turnovers and four assists to go along with 18 points.
"We just didn’t execute it. We had a lot of good looks tonight."
The Jazz led for most of the game, despite the turnovers, which came in bunches. But the Clippers, who have the third-best record in the West, were too dangerous for the Jazz to walk such a tight line against. Los Angeles never gave the lead back after it took it late in the third.
"It’s very slim," Corbin said of the margin for error against the Clippers. "... Their intent was to take us out of what we were doing in the first half. They did a better job in the second half, and we didn’t match their intensity."
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