Despite 30 points and eight rebounds from Al Jefferson, the Jazz fell to the Clippers in Los Angeles Sunday night 107-96.
Utah went on a 17-4 run in the third quarter and took a 76-75 lead. It was their first lead of the game since a 13-10 score in the first quarter. Both teams went two possessions without scoring, and then the Clippers went on a 6-0 run and never returned the lead.
The Jazz were still in it late, however. DeMarre Carroll hit an off-balance 3-pointer with 3:38 remaining in the game to cut the Clippers' lead to five, but a Matt Barnes 3-pointer and a driving layup from Chris Paul extended the lead to 10, and the Clippers coasted to the victory, in part behind free-throw shooting from DeAndre Jordan.
Jordan is averaging 41 percent from the charity stripe this season. In this game, however, he went 6-for-8, banking most of his free throws off the glass. Down the stretch, Jordan made four straight free throws with less than two minutes remaining to help salt the win away.
Besides Jefferson, the Jazz were led in scoring by Gordon Hayward with 16 points off the bench. Hayward, however, went 5-for-15 from the field and 1-for-4 from deep. Hayward missed a big 3-point shot during the aforementioned two possessions in which the Jazz held a third-quarter lead and went scoreless.
Jefferson and Hayward were the only Jazz players to take more than 10 shots. The Jazz's next leading scorers were Derrick Favors (11) off the bench, and starter Randy Foye (10).
Los Angeles was led by Caron Butler, who scored 29 points, 17 of which were scored in the first quarter. Butler was brilliant from the field in the first half, particularly from deep. He went 5-for-5 from behind the 3-point line and scored 17 points in the first quarter of Sunday's road game in Los Angeles. At one point the Utah Jazz had scored 19, and Caron Butler had scored 17 by himself.
Besides Butler, the Clippers were led in scoring by Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford, both with 19 apiece. Paul also finished with nine assists. Also, DeAndre Jordan scored 14 points on 6-8 shooting.
The Jazz were mostly even with the Clippers early, but the Clippers went on a 15-2 run spurred by Butler's hot shooting to take a 9-point lead with 3:49 remaining in the first quarter. Los Angeles was able to maintain the margin through most of the rest of the half.
This game marks the 11th in the last 12 that the Jazz have trailed after the first quarter. Utah has also lost seven of its last nine contests and five straight games against the Clippers.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company