Utah Jazz blow big halftime lead, fall to L.A. Clippers, 96-94

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 17 2012 11:23 p.m. MDT

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, right, shoots against Utah Jazz guard Randy Foye during the first half of their preseason NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Mark J. Terrill, AP

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The Jazz went in to the halftime locker room up by 14, but wilted in front of a second-half Clipper onslaught of defense and dunks to lose 96-94.

With 10 seconds remaining in the game, the Jazz turned to Randy Foye to tie the game. Foye deftly moved into the lane with a clear look at the basket, but Ryan Hollins swatted Randy Foye's layup attempt into the Jazz bench.

Foye got one more look from deep before the final buzzer sounded, but his shot failed to grab rim, and the Jazz fell.

Hollins's block and Foye's missed 3-pointer were part of a very tense final minute of the game.

Alec Burks tied the game at 92 apiece with exactly one minute left on a trailing 3-pointer, assisted by DeMarre Carroll.

On the ensuing possession, Jamal Crawford scored a driving layup and an extra free throw, courtesy of a foul by Carroll, to put the Clippers up by three.

The Jazz answered quickly. Burks took the ball to the rim and missed the layup, but Enes Kanter made the put-back layup, bringing the Jazz to within one. On defense, the Jazz forced the Clippers into a 3-point shot, but failed to get the rebound and were forced to foul.

Crawford made one of two at the line, putting L.A. up by one and leaving the Jazz an opportunity at a game-tying or a game-winning shot.

Enter Hollins.

The Jazz, carried by the strong play of their second unit, completely outplayed the Clippers in the first half. That story completely changed in the third quarter.

The Clippers outscored the Jazz 34-16 in the third quarter, carried by a 17-2 run in the final minutes of the period. Clippers forward Blake Griffin had an outstanding third, scoring 11 of his 23 points and garnishing three assists.

This game was Utah's second loss and the Clippers' second win of the preseason.

Landon Hemsley is the Sports Content Manager for DeseretNews.com

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