NBA Game Summary - Utah at LA Clippers
(Friday, March 31st)
Final Score: LA Clippers 106, Utah 91
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Elton Brand and Sam Cassell each scored 22 points, as the Los Angeles Clippers clinched their first winning season in over a decade with a 106-91 victory over the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center.
Chris Kaman had a solid outing with 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers (42-29), who are ensured of finishing above .500 for the first time since 1991-92 (45-37). Vladimir Radmanovic tallied 14 points and Corey Maggette scored 13 for Los Angeles, which is 1 1/2 games ahead of Memphis for the fifth spot in the Western Conference.
"It's great. I think the biggest thing now is not to get complacent," Maggette said. "We still have to strive for the best."
The Clippers have won nine of their last 13 overall and beat Utah in two of the three meetings this season. It's the first time the Clippers have beaten the Jazz in the season series in 20 years.
Mehmet Okur had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Utah, which had its two-game winning streak broken and fell 2 1/2 games behind Sacramento for the final playoff slot in the West.
Los Angeles turned a one-point lead into a 13-point cushion going into the fourth quarter. A 20-7 run in the period extended LA to a 77-64 lead. Five straight points from Brand capped the rally and the Clippers maintained their double digit lead the rest of the way.
The Clippers used a 19-4 run to close the opening quarter leading 29-19. However, Utah rebounded to get within 53-52 at the half.
Andrei Kirilenko added 17 points for Utah, while Matt Harpring scored 16. Deron Williams and Keith McLeod each had 12 points for the Jazz, who also got nine points and 11 boards from Carlos Boozer.
"We did a great job, only in the second quarter," Kirilenko said. "For the whole game we were kind of relaxed and let the Clippers score lots of easy layups. They were just shooting with a great percentage."
Friday's win gave the Clippers their first season-series win over the Jazz since the 1985-86 campaign when Los Angeles won three of four meetings...The 1974-75 Buffalo Braves recorded the most wins in franchise history with 49. The Clippers win Friday ensured the sixth winning record in franchise history, and the third since the team moved to California...The Clippers are 34-2 record when leading or tied after three quarters...The Jazz held a 40-30 edge in rebounds.
04/01 01:53:07 ET