NBA Game Summary - Utah at LA Clippers
(Saturday, March 31st)
Final Score: LA Clippers 105, Utah 96
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Blake Griffin scored 24 points, grabbed eight rebounds and handed out six assists as the Los Angeles Clippers took down the Utah Jazz, 105-96, on Saturday.
Chris Paul tallied 26 points and Randy Foye supplied 17 for the Clippers, who swept a five-game homestand. They won five straight games for the first time since November 2006, and have won seven straight at home overall.
The win improved their record to 11-9 in March, as they became the first NBA team in 45 years to play 20 games in one calendar month.
"This was one of those games we had to find a way," said Paul. "We really needed this win because the Western Conference is so jammed up."
Al Jefferson paced the Jazz with 26 points and Paul Millsap notched 18 in their third defeat in a row. Utah lost the season series against Los Angeles for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
The Clippers erupted out of the gate, building a 10-point lead just after the midpoint of the first quarter and grabbing a 31-14 advantage with 3:41 to play.
"I thought our ball movement was good in the first quarter," said Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro. "It set the tone for us. Overall, I thought we controlled the tempo of the game pretty good."
They held a double-digit edge from that point through halftime, though Gordon Hayward scored the half's final six points to cut Utah's deficit to 57-45 at intermission.
Jefferson and Millsap built on that momentum to open the third quarter, each knocking down a jumper and a layup to cap off a 14-0 run extending over two frames.
But Paul hit a fadeaway jumper to end the rally, and a 14-4 Los Angeles spurt a bit later put the hosts up 75-61.
"We can't give up 38 points in the first quarter," said Utah coach Tyrone Corbin. "We got down, but we battled back. We just couldn't get over the hump."
The Jazz won the final stanza 30-26 but never seriously threatened, trailing by at least seven throughout.
Griffin scored 20 of more points for the seventh game in a row...Paul's streak of 55 games with at least one steal ended...Los Angeles next travels to Dallas on Monday, while Utah plays at Portland on Monday.
04/01 01:56:27 ET