LOS ANGELES -- Gordon Hayward never previously enjoyed a win over the Clippers in the City of Angels. The Utah Jazz forward scratched that off his wish list Wednesday night.
Hayward scored 33 points and grabbed seven rebounds, allowing the Jazz to snap a 13-game losing streak to the Los Angeles Clippers with a 102-91 victory at Staples Center.
"We were better defensively," said Hayward, who connected on 11 of 22 shots from the floor, including five of seven from behind the 3-point stripe. "That's huge for us, honestly. The defense was really good. We made the tough shots, and they have good players who did the same, but we didn't get down on ourselves, and I thought we did a good job."
Forward Derrick Favors added 22 points for the Jazz, who hadn't beaten the Clippers since Jan. 17, 2012, when they earned a 108-79 win. The streak was the longest by Los Angeles against any NBA foe.
Hayward and Favors were determined to end it.
"We've been here a lot of times and had some close games that always went down to the wire, and for whatever reason faltered down the stretch," Hayward said. "I told (Favors) after the game that this was a big win for us."
Said Favors, "It was important. This was (Hayward's) first time winning here. It was important for us. It's a great feeling."
Utah guard Rodney Hood scored 13 points, center Ruby Gobert chipped in 10 points and 11 rebounds, and guard Raul Neto finished with 10 points and six assists.
Forward Blake Griffin scored a season-high 40 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who fell for the fourth time in the past five games. He hit 18 of 23 shots. Point guard Chris Paul added 24 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Forward/center Josh Smith had 10 points but was the only other Clipper to reach double figures.
"I like the way we played yesterday," said Griffin, referring to the team's blowout of the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. "I thought we were good in a lot of the areas we talked about, and to come out tonight flat (is disappointing). I just think we have to be better."
A three-point play by Hayward gave Utah (7-7) an 89-75 cushion with 5:32 left in the game, and the Jazz managed to keep a double-digit cushion the rest of the way. The win came two nights after a lopsided loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Salt Lake City.
"It was one game, so I'm not going to take too much from it, but it is definitely a confidence boost for the team," said Favors, who was 10-for-15 from the field Wednesday and also had three steals. "We learn from the losses and we learn from the wins, and we have to try to learn from this one. I think the difference was that we came out ready to play."
The Jazz began to seize control in the third quarter. A runner by Favors put Utah up 64-55 midway through the quarter. However, the Clippers (7-8) rallied and sliced the deficit to 73-68 heading into the final quarter. Favors scored 10 points in the third, helping Utah make 68.8 percent of its shots to 52.6 percent for the Clippers.
An 18-7 Utah surge to open the fourth gave the Jazz a 91-75 advantage.
"We just did not have any rhythm," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.
The teams were tied at 45 at the break. Griffin led all scorers with 20 first-half points on 10-of-11 shooting. Los Angeles outshot Utah 47.5 percent to 42.2 percent in the first two quarter, but the Jazz outscored the Clippers 17-1 on second-chance points. Utah finished with a 23-11 edge in that area.
Overall, the Jazz shot 50.6 percent to 50.7 percent for Los Angeles.
NOTES: Clippers coach Doc Rivers was pleased with the performance of F Wesley Johnson on Tuesday. Johnson started for the first time in a 111-94 rout of the Denver Nuggets, finishing with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, making three of four 3-pointers in more than 24 minutes. He wasn't effective on offense Wednesday, though, finishing scoreless in 20 minutes. ... Utah reserve F Trevor Booker celebrated his 28th birthday. ... The Clippers host the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, while the Jazz play the Pelicans in Utah on Saturday
By Forrest Lee, The Sports Xchange
Publish Date: November 26, 2015 01:11:44 AM
On 14th try, Jazz finally top Clippers
|All Times Eastern|