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Clippers give Utah Jazz the blues

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Between Blake Griffin scoring 40 points and Chris Paul's near triple double, the Los Angeles Clippers held off the Utah Jazz in a 98-90 win on Saturday night.

Griffin who sat out majority of the first quarter due to early foul trouble as the Clippers shot 33% from the field. They maintained their poise as the battled with the Trey Burke led Jazz offense.

"It's great to see how he's dominated games, whether he's taking jump shots, posting up or going to the free throw line. It's fun to watch. I wouldn't know how to guard him," said Chris Paul on Griffin.

The Clippers trailed the Jazz 43-42 at halftime, despite consistent turnovers by the Clippers that had been converted by the Jazz for 15 points in the first half.

The Clippers woke up in the third quarter where Jamal Crawford opened up with a 3 pointer. That shot set off an offensive explosion where Paul, Griffin, and a balanced bench dominated the quarter.

Griffin displayed a monster dunk that capped off an 8-0 run by the Clippers where the Jazz simply had no answer.
Derrick Favors was completely ineffective due to foul trouble, and finished with just four points.

The Clippers needed the win in the wake of the two back to back road losses at the hands of Golden State and Portland in overtime.

Jazz rookie guard Trey Burke finished with 12 points and 6 assist on 28.6% shooting.
Enes Kanter finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds off the bench in the loss.

"I can't say enough about our guys coming out after last night and the effort we had tonight," said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. "We made some mistakes down the stretch, but our performance overall is getting better and more consistent."

The Clippers defense held the Jazz without a field goal in the last four minutes of the final quarter.

Chris Paul finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assist in the win. Jamal Crawford also contributed 13 points in the win.

Griffin finished 14-17 from the free throw line, after making his first 12 free throws.

"The first 12 I felt good. I was a little disappointed when I missed the next one," Griffin said. "It's just the confidence to step up and make free throws. It comes from the work I've put in with my shooting coach, Bob Tate. He's stayed on me and he's given me confidence."

"I think our team is really close. I've been saying it for a week or two and you can feel it. It's very close to being really good," said Clippers coach Doc Rivers.

The Clippers will face a young speedy Phoenix Suns team on Monday at Staples Center.



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