Spurs aim to end four-game skid vs. Clippers


The San Antonio Spurs will try to end a four-game losing streak when they open a five-game road trip Tuesday at Los Angeles against the Clippers.

The Spurs endured a 130-109 loss to the Utah Jazz on Sunday. Keldon Johnson had 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting and seven rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan scored 19 for San Antonio. Jakob Poeltl and Lonnie Walker IV scored 11 each.

Dejounte Murray had a rough outing, going 1 of 13 from the floor with four points.

The Spurs fell in a huge hole early and never recovered. They trailed 65-51 at the break before the Jazz blew the game open in the third quarter.

“It all starts with effort and holding each other accountable with what we do defensively,” Walker said.

The Spurs allowed the Jazz to shoot 55.1 percent, while they hit 41.9 percent of their own shots. The Jazz also converted 21 of 41 3-pointers (51.2 percent) to 6 of 19 (31.6 percent) for the Spurs.

“They made a lot of 3s, and we didn’t finish in the paint,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “If you’re not going to get a three, you’ve got to finish at the rim. We didn’t do that very well.”

San Antonio center LaMarcus Aldridge missed his third straight contest with a sore knee and an undisclosed illness, and he might not play vs. Los Angeles. Guard Derrick White (toe) also sat out the game and wasn’t expected to accompany the team on the road trip.

The Clippers almost blew a 31-point lead but turned back a late rally by the host Phoenix Suns in a 112-107 victory in a testy affair Sunday. Paul George, who received a technical foul after a verbal altercation with Phoenix guard Devin Booker in the fourth quarter, scored a season-high 39 points on 15-of-24 shooting, including 7 of 10 3-pointers.

“I thought we did a good job in the first quarter and a half of really sharing the basketball. Everyone was getting involved,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “We had 17 assists at halftime. I think (in) the second half, we only had seven assists, but we didn’t have a lot of mix either.”

Kawhi Leonard scored 15 points but misfired on 17 of his 21 field-goal attempts. Leonard has struggled since sustaining a mouth laceration, requiring eight stitches, following an accidental elbow from teammate Serge Ibaka on Christmas Day at Denver. Leonard has made 21 of 57 (36.8 percent) shots in the three games since the injury.

“For Kawhi to shoot 4 for 21 and to come into a situation where we got out of here with a win was big for us,” Lue said. “With (George) playing the kind of playing the basketball he’s playing right now, he’s in a good rhythm and a good zone, so we’ve got to do everything we can to keep him there.”

–Field Level Media

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