Los Angeles – The Clippers pull off a tough fought victory 101-97, over the visiting Utah Jazz extending their winning streak to 12 consecutive over an opponent, setting a new franchise record.
Blake Griffin had a game-high 24 points, seven assists, six rebounds, three blocked shots, and two steals while shooting 50% from the field. Griffin played the whole fourth quarter scoring 12 points.
“Blake was huge tonight, he made big shots and grabbed some tough rebounds,” said Paul, who had 20 points, eight assists, and four steals.
Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 22 points and seven assists, but was held to zero points in the fourth quarter. Rudy Gobert had 11points and 13 rebounds off the bench. Derrick Favors had 15 points and nine rebounds, but struggled at the free-throw line going three for nine. The Jazz combined to shot 59% from the free-throw line.
The Clippers haven’t been able to practice since Dec. 5 due to their hectic schedule. Yes we’re talking about practice. A couple times this month before games they’ve had to close the court to reporters at Staples Center to fit in some well needed walkthroughs.
Good ball movement by Utah and sloppy play and turnovers by the Clippers kept the Jazz in the game. Utah out scored L.A in the paint 44-18. “I’d rather see them make 2-point baskets instead of 3-point baskets,” said Rivers.
Late in the fourth quarter Griffin was hit with a goaltending and technical foul when he pulled on the basketball net as he attempted to block Gobert’s shot. Hayward went to the line and missed the free throw, which would have cut the Clippers lead down to two points.
Matt Barnes tied a career high in blocks with three and dropped 13 points. DeAndre Jordan, once again a monster on the boards, lead with 19 rebounds, four big blocks and five points. Jamal Crawford came off the bench and dropped 17 points. Forward Spencer Hawes was back in action for the Clippers playing 13 minutes after sitting out the previous nine games due to a bruised left knee. The Clippers, as a team, had 12 blocked shots.
Up next for the Clippers will be the struggling New York Knicks. This will be the first of two meetings between the two teams and the lone matchup at Staples Center. The Knicks lost the season series 2-0 versus the Clippers last season. This will be Derek Fishers first time returning to Staples Center as a coach. Fisher won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The true winners for the night were the Clippers and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as they held a “Dedicated Awareness Night” telethon. A fundraising avenue to support critical, lifesaving care for every child treated regardless of a family’s ability to pay. For more information visit CHLA.org
Clippers last loss to the Jazz was January 17, 2012. The Clippers lost that contest by the score of 108-79.
Jazz: Host Minnesota on Tuesday Dec. 30.