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Utah Jazz-LA Clippers buzz: Paul George takes over and Clippers take control of series with Game 5 win

Clippers defeat Jazz, 119-111, in Game 5 of their Western Conference second-round series to take a 3-2 series lead. Game 6 is Friday night in Los Angeles

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) LA Clippers guard Terance Mann (14) dunks and is fouled by Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) as the Utah Jazz host the Los Angeles Clippers in a Game 5 matchup, NBA basketball in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 16, 2021.

As the old saying goes, a playoff series doesn’t start until the road team wins a game.

In that case, this Jazz-Clippers series is now underway as the latter walked into Vivint Arena and registered a 119-111 win in Game 5 on Wednesday evening. With Kawhi Leonard out indefinitely with a sprained knee, Paul George owned the night, finishing with 37 points, 16 rebounds and five assists.

Game 6 is Friday night in Los Angeles. A Clippers win will send them to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history.

Terance Mann dunks on Rudy Gobert

Third-quarter struggles

The Jazz took a 65-60 lead into halftime, but the third quarter was a train wreck. They were 0-for-10 from 3-point range in the period and were outscored, 32-18, in trailing by nine going to the fourth quarter.

Double technicals

Following a late second-quarter layup from Paul George, Rudy Gobert hit the deck and got tangled with Clippers forward Marcus Morris, who tried to step over him. Gobert took a swipe at Morris’ leg and was issued a technical foul, to which the Vivint crowd reacted harshly. After a review, Gobert and Morris were both issued technicals.

Bogey, Royce come out firing

Royce O’Neale carried the load early in the first quarter, Bojan Bogdanovic picked it up from there, the duo combining for 26 of Utah’s 37 first-quarter points. Bogdanovic was particularly hot, hitting his first six 3-point attempts in scoring 18 points in the opening period.

Quin Snyder, Ty Lue on Kawhi Leonard’s absence

News broke early Wednesday morning that Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard will miss Game 5 against the Utah Jazz with a sprained right knee, suffered in Monday night’s Game 4 win. The fear is that this is an ACL injury, according to The Athletic. Leonard has been ruled out indefinitely by the Clippers with Game 6 scheduled for Friday night in Los Angeles.

During their respective pre-Game 5 availabilities, Jazz head coach Quin Snyder and Clippers head coach Ty Lue gave their thoughts on Leonard’s absence.

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