NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, December 28th (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (23-6) at Utah Jazz (15-15), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers won by the slimmest of margins when they visited the Utah Jazz during the early stages of their franchise- record winning streak.
They haven't been involved in a close game in over two weeks and look to post their 16th straight victory on Friday night in the opener of a home-and-home set with the hosting Jazz.
The third victory of the Clippers' winning streak, which is now the longest in the NBA since the Boston Celtics won 19 straight during the 2008-09 campaign, came in Utah by a 105-104 margin back on Dec. 3.
Though the Jazz shot a solid 56.8 percent from the floor, the Clippers outscored their opponent 54-46 in the second half to claim the win and got 30 points and 11 rebounds from Blake Griffin.
Jamal Crawford added 20 points off the bench for Los Angeles, which won its third straight overall against the Jazz and second straight in Utah.
The Clippers had dropped 16 straight as the guest in this series prior to the consecutive wins and will try to win three in a row in Utah for the first time since 1980.
"They've beat a lot of good teams in this run ... and they're going to come in here after the close win they had before thinking they can win on our floor. So we have to make sure we can match that and we need to play better," said Utah head coach Tyrone Corbin, whose club has lost five of seven overall.
Mo Williams had 20 points and 12 assists against the Clippers, but is out with a sprained right thumb that has caused him to miss the past two games and has him out indefinitely. Jamaal Tinsley has been starting in his place and the Jazz are still trying to adapt to the change of pace without Williams.
"Getting some more speed down the floor. Getting the ball down quickly and being able to attack early," Corbin said of what the Jazz haven't been doing since Williams' injury. "It's slowed us down quite a bit on the offensive end, early especially."
The Jazz fell behind early on Wednesday versus the Golden State Warriors, getting outscored by 12 points in the first half en route to a 94-83 setback. The 83 points matched a season low for Utah.
Al Jefferson dropped in 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Paul Millsap chipped in with 14 points as the Jazz fell to 9-3 at home on the season.
The Clippers, meanwhile, led wire-to-wire on Thursday night in a 106-77 victory over the Boston Celtics, hitting nine of their first 13 shots to grab a quick 15-point advantage.
"I love the way we're playing right now," said guard Chris Paul, who shot just 3-of-11 from the field for eight points, but handed out a game-high 11 assists. "It's a good feeling."
Matt Barnes hit five of Los Angeles' 13 3-pointers to score a team-high 21 points, while Crawford had 17 points and Griffin added 15 points with eight rebounds.
Los Angeles has won seven straight by double-digits and hasn't lost since Nov. 26. The last time the Clippers didn't win by at least 12 points was a 100-94 win at Charlotte on Dec. 12.
12/28 10:35:14 ET