LA Clippers Grades: Sloppy shooting vs. Utah outweighed by great defense

LA ClippersKawhi Leonard(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
LA ClippersKawhi Leonard(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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LA Clippers
LA ClippersLandry Shamet(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Wings – B+

We’ll start with Kawhi Leonard who absolutely took over in the fourth quarter. He finished the night with 30 points, a team-high, with 18 of them coming in the fourth. He currently leads the league in fourth-quarter scoring, so this honestly was no surprise for anyone.

Prior to that outburst though, Kawhi was forcing a lot and, much like his teammates, unable to hit. In the first three quarters, he shot just 4 of 15. He still was a defensive beast though, opening the game with a block and grabbing three steals, one of which when he just manhandled Bogdan Bogdanovic to take the ball and finish with a slam dunk.

Mo Harkless only scored two points on a slam dunk, but he was still felt on the court. Harkless has been a very underrated signing but seemingly fits in perfectly with this team. His defense has been stellar, so any scoring out of him is just icing on the cake. He wasn’t anything special against the Jazz, but he should definitely continue to see a good chunk of minutes when Paul George returns.

The only other wing to get meaningful minutes was Rodney McGruder who was scoreless yet again. While that’s not ideal, he did look more comfortable on the court and played good defense while he was out there. He drew a charge, had some good one-on-one possessions and even got a blocked shot. Adding in his four rebounds and we will call it a night that has him trending in the right direction.