Jazz-Clippers Preview

After suffering two road losses in painfully close fashion, the

Los Angeles Clippers will likely welcome a lesser opponent in its

return home.

Meanwhile, the lowly Utah Jazz hope to find some momentum from a

last-second victory.

Los Angeles aims for its seventh straight victory in the series

on Saturday night.

The Clippers (20-11) are coming off a 116-112 overtime loss at

Portland on Thursday despite committing a season-low six turnovers

to the Trail Blazers’ 17.

One of their biggest disadvantages came on the glass where they

were outrebounded 60-48.

“They didn’t actually get them (rebounds) when we went small,

which is amazing,” coach Doc Rivers said. “We were helping a lot.

When you have to help, it does create somebody with a body off of

them and I thought they took advantage of that.”

However, it was also the fifth straight game in which Los

Angeles was outrebounded after losing out 49-38 in Wednesday’s

105-103 loss at Golden State. Rivers’ team is being outrebounded by

an average of minus-8.4 over the last five contests, far worse than

its minus-1.5 margin on the season.

Other than DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, Chris Paul’s 3.8

rebounds per game are the most on the team during the last five

games.

Friday’s loss also came despite big performances from Griffin,

who had 35 points and 11 rebounds, and Paul, who added 34 points

and 16 assists. Griffin was playing a night after a controversial

ejection for two technical fouls against the Warriors, which the

NBA described Thursday as a mistake by the officials.

“It’d be different if we lost both games by 15 or 20 points, but

to lose two emotional games like that is tough,” Jamal Crawford

told the team’s website. “I think, honestly, those ones are tougher

to digest than losing by 20. Sometimes you lay an egg and you come

out and you just don’t have it that night, but to have the

opportunity to win both of them is tough.”

The Clippers have been much better at home however, going 12-2

and averaging 111.9 points compared to 99.7 per game on the

road.

The Jazz (9-23) come in feeling good about themselves after a

dramatic 105-103 home win over the Lakers on Friday. Derrick Favors

had a putback dunk with 2.1 seconds left on Gordon Hayward’s missed

shot, converting what he said was the first game-winning shot of

his career at any level.

“The two big guys for the Lakers went over and altered his shot

a little bit,” said Favors, who had 18 points and 14 rebounds. “It

went off the rim and I was just there for the offensive

rebound.”

Utah has struggled against the Clippers, losing six straight

after winning 11 of the previous 12. Los Angeles is averaging 107.8

points on 49.9 percent shooting during its six-game winning streak,

and Paul is averaging 22.2 points during that stretch.