SALT LAKE CITY — The average NBA game has many twists and turns, and ups and downs. During a 48-minute game, things can change within a matter of minutes. Such was the case Monday as the Los Angeles Clippers battled from behind to steal a victory from the Utah Jazz, winning 105-104.
The Jazz took control early on and appeared to be heading toward a comfortable home win. The Clippers had different plans in mind. They seized momentum in the fourth quarter and despite a flurry of bizarre plays down the stretch, they came away with the W.
First-half fun: The Utah Jazz came out on fire, taking it right at the Clippers in the first quarter. They finished the first 12 minutes shooting a blistering 14 of 19 from the floor (73.7 percent). Mo Williams was quarterbacking the effort, scoring six points and doling out six assists. Moreover, everyone was involved. Ten out of those 14 field goals came off an assist.
The second quarter saw a bit of a lull, as Los Angeles outscored Utah 32-27. Either way, the Jazz went into halftime up 59-51. They were still sensational, going 25 of 38 overall (65.8 percent). Utah was playing ahead for most of the game. Then the fourth quarter happened.
Fourth quarter flounder: There were spectacular shots, athletic plays, defensive lapses, questionable calls, and back-and-forth drama for both teams, but the Clippers clearly took claim of the game. The quintet of Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Chauncey Billups made big play after big play. They were aggressive with their offensive sets.
Conversely, the Jazz had a difficult time on both ends of the court. They struggled getting into the plays and, when they did execute, missed some shots they normally would make. When it was all said and done, LA outdid Utah 32-21 after Randy Foye made a last second three-pointer.
This and That:
- The Jazz outshot (57 percent to 47 percent), outrebounded (41-36), and out-assisted (25-19) the Clippers, but had 17 turnovers compared to 10 Los Angeles miscues. Furthermore Utah nearly doubled the Clippers in fouls, 26 to 14.
- Every LA bench player recorded a positive +/-, while their Jazz counterparts experienced the opposite.
David Smith provides instant analysis for Deseret News' Utah Jazz coverage. He works for LDS Philanthropies and also blogs for the Utah Jazz 360 website. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at davidjsmith1232.