NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 28th (All times Eastern)
Utah Jazz (9-23) at Los Angeles Clippers (20-11), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers will try to rebound from some bad fortune of late when they welcome the Utah Jazz to Staples Center Saturday night.
The Clips have dropped two in a row by a combined six points. Both were on the road and against formidable opponents.
The Golden State Warriors dispatched the Clippers, 105-103, on Christmas night in the now infamous game where Blake Griffin got ejected for nothing. That chippy affair begat the 116-112 overtime loss the following night to the Portland Trail Blazers.
"It's tough, that's for sure," said guard Jamal Crawford. "It'd be different if we lost both games by 15 or 20 points, but to lose two emotional games like that is tough. I think, honestly, those ones are tougher to digest than losing by 20. Sometimes you lay an egg and you come out and you just don't have it that night, but to have the opportunity to win both of them is tough."
Chris Paul had open looks close to the basket in the waning seconds of both, but came up empty.
He was amazing against Portland with 34 points, 16 assists and six steals. Griffin shook off the disappointment of Christmas with 35 points and 11 rebounds.
Crawford had 21 in the losing effort, followed by 12 from Matt Barnes off the bench. DeAndre Jordan fouled out, but not before he pulled down 19 rebounds.
The Clippers will play three in a row at Staples Center, starting with the Jazz, and are 12-2 as the host. They are unbeaten in four straight at home.
Utah has rotated wins and losses in the last six games and is coming off Friday's 105-103 victory over the Lakers. Derrick Favors' tip slam with 2.1 seconds remaining lifted the Jazz, who got 18 points and 14 rebounds from the big man.
"The two big guys for the Lakers went over and altered his (Hayward) shot a little bit," said Favors. "It went off the rim and I Was just there for the offensive rebound."
Gordon Hayward and Marvin Williams scored 24 and 16 points, respectively, for the Jazz. Trey Burke had 14 points and Alec Burks added 13 in the win.
The Clippers have taken six in a row against the Jazz and three straight as the host in this series.
12/28 10:35:42 ET