Sweet 16: Clippers Rally, Down 19, To Beat Jazz 116-114
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP)– Chris Paul scored 29 points and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from a 19-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the Utah Jazz 116-114 on Friday night, stretching their winning streak to 16 games.
Ex-Clipper Randy Foye’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was contested by Matt Barnes, but no foul was called. Foye finished with a season-high 28 points for Utah.
Paul scored the Clippers’ final seven points, most from the free throw line, as Los Angeles extended the NBA’s longest winning streak this season.
The Jazz led 74-55 with 8:08 left in the third on a pair of free throws by Paul Millsap. But the Clippers outscored Utah 29-14 the rest of the quarter to pull to 88-84 going into the fourth.
Paul provided the late offense with 13 points in the final period on 4-of-6 shooting. He led six Clippers in double figures. Blake Griffin added 22 points and 13 rebounds, and DeAndre Jordan had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Al Jefferson added 22 points for Utah. Gordon Hayward had 17 off the bench.
The Jazz were handed their first home loss this season on Dec. 3 when the Clippers beat them 105-104. Utah led by as many as 14 in that one before Paul came on strong down the stretch.
This time, Caron Butler’s four-point play tied it at 90 with 9:09 remaining.
The Jazz built another five-point lead thanks to a three-point play by Derrick Favors. Los Angeles went on a 7-0 run to surge ahead 109-106, but Jefferson scored four straight to put Utah up 110-109.
Paul made five of six free throws down the stretch, and his 17-footer with 23 seconds left gave the Clippers a 113-110 lead.
Foye countered with two free throws and Jefferson tied it at 114 from the line after grabbing Paul’s lone miss in the fourth and getting fouled.
Jefferson, however, was called for a foul of his own as Paul cut inside on a pick. Paul’s free throws sealed it with 3.4 seconds left.
The Jazz certainly made the Clippers work for this one. Utah used a 36-point second quarter to turn a seven-point deficit into a 58-48 halftime lead. Jazz reserves did most of the damage.
Alec Burks and Earl Watson pushed the pace, big men Enes Kanter and Favors established their presence inside and Hayward found ways to score after missing his first few shots.
Kanter’s block of Ronny Turiaf ignited the crowd. Hayward’s 3-pointer tied it at 34 with 7:04 left in the second and he scored 10 points straight for the Jazz, who forced eight turnovers in the quarter and held the Clippers to 37.5 percent shooting.
Foye, who kept Utah close in the first with a 13-point quarter on 4-of-5 shooting, gave the Jazz their biggest lead of the half, 54-41, with two more free throws.
Los Angeles led by as many as eight points in the first as Griffin hit four of his first five shots.
NOTES: An unidentified Jazz employee was disciplined and had his access to the team Twitter account discontinued after what team officials deemed an inappropriate tweet regarding the firing of Nets coach Avery Johnson and Brooklyn’s interest in Phil Jackson. The tweet said Jackson only wants “great players,” an apparent reference to ex-Jazz point guard Deron Williams, who had criticized Johnson’s offense. … Jazz point guard Mo Williams still has swelling in his sprained right thumb and remains out indefinitely. … The Clippers got a scare late in the first quarter when Lamar Odom came up limping. He returned in the second and finished with 12 points.