The Utah Jazz are coming off a confidence-boosting,
come-from-behind victory. They weren’t as successful against the
Los Angeles Clippers earlier this week, but a change of venue
After winning a key matchup in the race for playoff position,
the Jazz look to continue their home dominance of the Clippers on
A 116-108 victory over Phoenix on Thursday night kept Utah
(39-22) in fourth place in the Western Conference, 1 1/2 games
ahead of the Suns.
“You never know what’s going to happen and who’s going to end up
where in the playoffs,” Jazz forward Carlos Boozer said.
“Especially when you’re playing in the ‘Wild West’ where every game
Utah erased an 11-point deficit with 7:43 remaining and avoided
its fourth loss in six games. Three days earlier, the Jazz nearly
overcame a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter of a 108-104 road
loss to the Clippers (25-37).
At home, though, Utah has won 39 of its last 40 against Los
Angeles. The Jazz are averaging 107.3 points and shooting 50.8
percent during that stretch.
Utah is 24-8 at EnergySolutions Arena this season, averaging
106.2 points and shooting a league-best 51.4 percent.
Jazz point guard Deron Williams, who has been playing with a
brace on his injured right wrist, is averaging 27.5 points and 12.5
assists while shooting 61.8 percent in his last two home games.
Williams scored 13 of his 27 points versus the Suns in the fourth
Williams made 5-of-9 shots from 3-point range and the Jazz
finished 12 of 24. Utah is shooting 46.9 percent from beyond the
arc over its last three contests.
Los Angeles was held to 37.2 percent shooting from the field in
a 104-87 loss to Oklahoma City on Friday.
“It’s going to be tough for us to win a game shooting below 38
percent from the floor,” coach Kim Hughes told the Clippers’
official Web site.
The Clippers have lost four of five after winning their previous
three. They’ve also dropped five straight on the road, with
opponents averaging 113.2 points and shooting 49.4 percent from
Chris Kaman remains one of Los Angeles’ few bright spots. He’s
coming off a 19-point, 15-rebound performance, but is averaging
10.6 points in 12 career games at Utah – all losses.
He got some much-needed help in the frontcourt Friday from
reserve Craig Smith, who had 19 points and seven rebounds in 21
minutes after missing two games with a biceps strain. Smith’s
absence had been putting more pressure on Kaman to score in the
Los Angeles got a combined 13 points on 5-of-22 shooting from
starting guards Eric Gordon and Baron Davis. Gordon, however, is
averaging 20.7 points in his last three games against Utah, going 8
for 16 from beyond the arc.
Utah is 2-1 against Los Angeles this season.