Clippers rally to beat Jazz 94-89, extend streak to 13
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) The Utah Jazz stood toe-to-toe with the Los Angeles Clippers for 43 minutes Wednesday night despite having lost 12 straight to the team formally known as Lob City.
The final five minutes of the fourth quarter extended that streak to 13.
Jamal Crawford scored 21 points and the Clippers used a fourth-quarter rally to beat the Jazz on the road 94-89. The 13 consecutive wins against Utah is a franchise-record against a single ballclub.
''We've been in these situations so much that, down the stretch, we know who we're going to go to and how we're going to play,'' Clippers point guard Chris Paul said. ''We just pulled it together when we needed to.''
Crawford knocked down four 3-point baskets in the win, and Paul scored 21 points and dished out six assists. Crawford scored 14 in the first half after scoring 23 against the Nuggets on Monday.
The Jazz led 83-81 late in the fourth quarter, but the Clippers went on a 9-2 run highlighted by Blake Griffin's tip-in and a 17-foot jumper from Paul to pull away. Griffin finished with 17 points.
''We didn't get it going offensively tonight, not in a great rhythm,'' Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. ''Give them credit. I thought us they defended us very well. Very well prepared. We just hung in there. We got key stops and stops were the difference in the game for us.
''Even if we're struggling, we believe we can get stops. Just keep getting stops. Don't worry about it if we miss shots. Just keep getting stops. And I thought tonight was another example of that.''
Enes Kanter scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the loss, while Derrick Favors added 18 points and nine rebounds.
The Jazz led 50-49 at halftime thanks to a 55.6 field goal percentage and just four turnovers. They held Griffin, who entered averaging 22.8 points per game, to just eight points in the first 24 minutes. Griffin, however, scored seven of the Clippers' final nine points to help cement the victory.
''Yeah, it's frustrating,'' Favors said. ''We played hard the first, second, third quarter and fourth quarter played good, too. But missed a couple shots here and there, couple calls didn't go our way and the Clippers made tough shots.
''(We need) to keep up the energy. Keep up the effort. Execute on the offensive end and get dialed in on the defensive end.''
Jazz: Trey Burke, Dante Exum and Rudy Gobert were announced as participants in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend on Wednesday. ... The Jazz outscored the Clippers 50-34 in the paint. ... Shooting guard Joe Ingles tied a career high with seven assists. ... The Jazz had just two assists from the point guard position - one apiece from Exum and Burke.
Clippers: Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford made his third start of the season with J.J. Ridick out with back spasms. Austin Rivers, who was acquired via a three-team trade on Jan. 15, was the first player off the bench. Rivers scored 12 points and was the lone bench player to score for the Clippers. ... Center DeAndre Jordan now has at least one block in 34 consecutive games. That's the longest current active streak in the NBA. ... Wednesday was the first of an eight-game road trip.
The game Wednesday was the first of a five-game stretch for the Jazz that includes the Golden State Warriors, Portland Trailblazers, Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns. All five teams would be in the playoffs if the postseason began today and they were a combined 158-66 entering Wednesday's games.
''We kind of know what's coming, which doesn't really make it really easier to play well or beat those guys,'' Snyder said Tuesday. ''It's very possible we can play well and lose because of the teams we're playing are playing ... they're some of the best teams in the league. ... It's another good barometer to see where we are as we head into the All-Star break and kind of have a chance to assess even further with a little more time.''
Jazz: Host the Warriors on Friday.
Clippers: Travels to face the Pelicans on Friday.