Behind 21 points and five rebounds from Caron Butler, the Los Angeles Clippers were able to earn their first season series sweep of the Utah Jazz in 33 years with a resounding 107-94 win Saturday evening at Staples Center.
The last time the Clippers swept Utah during the regular season was during the 1978-79 season.
This was an impressive effort from the Clippers, especially considering how awful they looked in their 26-point loss at the hands of the Spurs on Thursday.
In that game, L.A. trailed 17-4 early in the first quarter and was never able to make much of a game of it.
They were able to flip the script this time around, jumping out to an early 17-6 lead over the Jazz in the first quarter. Utah, however, was able to climb back into it, even taking a brief lead late in the second period before the Clippers took a 51-49 lead into the half.
Blake Griffin scored 18 points to go along with seven rebounds, while Chris Paul followed up his miserable effort against San Antonio with a solid 11-point, seven-rebound, seven-assist game against the Jazz.
Utah was led by Gordon Hayward’s 23 points off-the-bench, while the frontcourt tandem of Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson was held decently in-check, combining for 35 points. Millsap actually scored Utah’s first 13 points of the game.
The Clippers broke it wide open with a furious run in the third quarter, extending their two-point halftime lead to an 18-point lead at the end of the frame. They opened the quarter with a 23-4 run.
Lamar Odom was huge in this game for Los Angeles, scoring a season-high 18 points on 8-15 shooting. He also pulled down six rebounds in 23 minutes. It was the most points he’d scored in a game since he scored 19 (also against the Jazz) while playing for Dallas last February.
The Jazz were able to climb to within 13 points at 97-84 midway through the fourth quarter, when Butler and Griffin re-entered the game to help the Clips close it out.
The loss dropped Utah to 31-25 on the season, still a game ahead of the Rockets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
The Clippers improved to 40-18, still four-and-a-half games behind the Spurs for the No. 1 seed. They currently sit third, also trailing the Thunder.
The next time the Clippers will see game action will be Tuesday night when they host the lowly Charlotte Bobcats.
Utah takes on the Celtics Monday night in Salt Lake City.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers, and covers the Los Angeles Dodgers for ProSportsBlogging.com.