LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers have won 16 in a row, including 11 blowouts with double-digit margins.
Included in that franchise-record winning streak are two wins over the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena by a combined three points — 105-104 on Dec. 3 and 116-114 on Friday night.
Despite choking on leads of 19 and 14 in those losses, the Jazz like the way they stack up against the Clippers.
Both Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors said they also enjoy the challenge of going against the likes of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
"It’s a good match-up, man," Millsap said. "I love the battles."
Ditto for Favors.
"I look forward to going against those types of guys," Favors said, "just because they've got a big name in the NBA and I want to establish my name in the NBA."
Favors didn't have huge numbers Friday, but he did post a +/- of +12 in 19 minutes against the Clippers.
Millsap always seems to have an extra physical bout when he goes against Captain KIA. The Jazz forward had 12 points and five rebounds compared to Griffin's 22 points and 13 boards in their last duel, giving the clear edge to the powerful Clipper.
"It's tough, but he's still a little raw on the offensive end," Millsap said of that match-up. "You kinda know what type of moves he's going to do when he get the ball on the block, but it's still tough to try to stop it because he's so strong and explosive."
UNFORGETTABLE FLOP: Remember Chauncey Billups' theatrics that led to him getting three key free throws during the Clippers' 105-104 win in Utah four weeks ago?
So does Mo Williams.
Neither Billups nor Williams will play tonight as both are out indefinitely with injuries, but the Jazz point guard definitely plans on reminding Billups about the flop when the time's right.
"It's going to be a fun joke for us over the summer. Absolutely," Williams said. "At some point, we'll joke about it. We'll have some fun on the golf course about it."
Despite the flop, Williams still respects Billups, a 16-season veteran who makes the 30-year-old Jazz player look like a pup in his 10th year.
"That's one of my mentors, because when he came in the league and I came in the league he was a veteran player, been through some ups and downs," Williams said. "He found his way. A lot of similarities. I saw myself in him."
MENTAL GAMES?: It isn't unusual for Griffin to jaw at Millsap or give a glare after doing something good.Comment on this story
The Jazz power forward smiled when asked if Griffin is trying to get under his skin.
"I think he's trying to come back at me, because I used to do that to him when he was younger. Now he's getting wiser and a little bit older he kind of knows what to expect from me," Millsap said. "I think he's trying to role reverse, I guess. He's trying to get into my head a little bit, but I try not to let that bother me."