NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, February 23rd (All times Eastern)
Utah Jazz (31-24) at Los Angeles Clippers (39-18), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The last time the Clippers swept the Jazz in a season series both teams resided in different cities.
The San Diego Clippers won all four meetings against the New Orleans Jazz back in 1978-79, when Jimmy Carter was President and gas prices cost around 70 cents per gallon. Now the Clippers have taken over Los Angeles and the Jazz took up residence in Utah, and both teams will clash Saturday in L.A.
The Jazz have lost the first three meetings of the season with the Clippers and five straight overall. The Clippers are on their longest winning streak in this series since a seven-game run bridging the 1979-80 and 1980-81 campaigns.
The Clippers will try to regroup following a beating at the hands of San Antonio Spurs tonight in the middle portion of a three-game homestand.
Los Angeles was crushed, 116-90, by the mighty Spurs Thursday and had won four straight and five of six games. San Antonio led, 34-21, after the first quarter and posted the same advantage in the third. It shot the lights out to the tune of 58.9 percent and scored 23 points on 20 L.A. turnovers.
"You've got to be better mentally," said Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin, who had 17 points. "They're the best team in the league for a reason and we didn't come out and put up the fight that we needed to."
Matt Barnes scored a team-high 18 points off the bench and All-Star Chris Paul wasn't much help, finishing with four points and three assists.
Los Angeles is 21-6 at home and will close out the stand Tuesday versus the Charlotte Bobcats.
Utah is enjoying a strong 2013 and looks to extend its current winning streak to four games Saturday night.
The Jazz, owners of a 16-7 mark since the calendar turned, are coming off a 115-101 victory versus the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday. Al Jefferson finished with 24 points and blocked three shots, while Gordon Hayward returned to action for the first time since spraining his right shoulder and recorded 17 points and four assists. Gordon hadn't played since Jan. 26.
"We understood how tough this game was going to be. We came out today and established ourselves early. We were able to come out with a good win," said Jazz forward Marvin Williams, who had 11 points.
Randy Foye scored 15 points and both Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors added 14 in the win. The Jazz shot 50 percent (39-for-78) from the floor and scored 22 points on second chances.
Utah is 10-18 away from Salt Lake City and will return home this evening for a three-game stand, starting with Monday's matchup with Boston.
02/23 10:32:07 ET