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NBA

Clutch Kawhi Leonard helps LA Clippers beat Utah Jazz 105-94 to remain unbeaten at home

Kawhi Leonard vs. the Utah Jazz
(NBA Getty Images)

For the second time in five days, the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers faced off. Only this time in Los Angeles, reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard suited up, leading the Clippers to a 105-94 win.

After the Clippers fell short in Salt Lake City 110-96, they exacted revenge on their home floor, to improve to a 5-2 record, with a league-best 4-0 home record.

Donovan Mitchell rallied the Jazz with 36 points, but Leonard's 30 points and fourth-quarter takeover proved too much at STAPLES Center.

Here are the biggest takeaways from the game:

Kawhi "The Terminator" Leonard shows up again

A couple of days earlier against the Spurs, Kawhi Leonard scored 15 of his team's 23 points in the final period for the win.

On Monday, in a close affair, he did it again.

Leonard scored 25 of his 30 in the second half, more importantly, he scored 18 in a decisive fourth quarter where the Clippers outscored the Jazz 40-25 to seal the win.

Despite a rough shooting night, going just 9-of-26 from the field, Leonard made his impact felt across the board.

He finished with six rebounds, three assists and three steals, going 10-of-12 from the free-throw line to finish with a +16 in his 34 minutes of action.

Defense - the theme for the first half

Coming into this matchup, the Utah Jazz were the best defensive team in the league with a defensive rating of 95.4 and they dictated the rhythm of the game in the first half.

At halftime, both teams were tied up at 41, with neither shooting better than 35.0% from the field.

Below: Shot chart for both teams in the first half - Utah on the left and LA on the right

After 24 minutes, the Clippers were 15-of-43 (34.9%) from the field and had only knocked down a couple of 3-pointers (2-16) while the Jazz shot it at 34.1% (15-44 FG's) from the field and 5-of-16 (31.3%) from beyond the arc.

At halftime, the Clippers had a total of five steals, while the Jazz recorded five blocks.

Mike Conley's struggles continue

In his first seven games with his new team, Mike Conley Jr. has found it difficult to get going in all but one.

The last time these two teams played, less than a week earlier in Salt Lake City, he went off for 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting but other than that game, it's been a rough start to the season for the 12-year veteran.

In the other six games, Conley averages just 9.6 points on 16-of-68 (23.5%) shooting from the field and 6-of-31 (19.4%) from beyond the arc.

This game was no different. In 35 minutes, he finished with eight points, one rebound and one assist on 2-of-10 shooting, while committing five of the team's 15 turnovers.

Harrell sparks Clippers' bench dominance

The LA Clippers are the highest-scoring bench in the league at 55.0 points per game. In this game, they outscored their counterparts 50-19.

The usual culprits were at it once again.

Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell combined for 36 points, while JaMychal Green chipped in with 12. Harrell shot 7-of-10 from the field and finished with six of his eight rebounds on the offensive glass.

The team, as a whole, outrebounded the Jazz 18-6 on the offensive glass and all those offensive rebounds were a huge part of the team's 27 second-chance points , 19 more than the Jazz in the game.

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