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
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