Tom Smart, Deseret Morning News
Utah's Andrei Kirilenko is fouled by the Clippers Al Thornton during the Jazz's 106-88 victory.

Seven scorers posted double figures, including all five starters. Carlos Boozer enjoyed his 28th double-double of the season. And they won for the seventh straight time at home, improving to 17-3 so far this season at EnergySolutions Arena.

But the Jazz didn't seem to care about any of that whatsoever Friday night.

Rather, all that mattered after a 106-88 blowout of the Pacific Division cellar-dwelling Los Angeles Clippers is the sour taste that lingers from their horrific first-half-of-the-season woes on the road.

"I feel like we can be a better team, especially on the road, than we have been," starting point guard Deron Williams said after a 15-point, six-assist night in which he played just 20 minutes — partly because of foul trouble, but as well because of strong play from backup and ex-Clipper Jason Hart.

"I think we still have a long time to play. So it's not time to panic or anything," Williams added. "But we definitely have got to change what we're doing on the road to get some wins."

Now 23-18 at the midway point of their 82-game 2007-08 NBA regular season, the Jazz are just 6-15 away from home.

They've dropped four in a row when traveling.

And they're still stinging, big-time, from a 120-109 loss at Northwest Division-rival Denver on Thursday night.

"If you're good enough to win here at home, you should be good enough to win on the road — and we haven't been able to do that," coach Jerry Sloan said. "We haven't played with the same enthusiasm."

Yet the Jazz — facing a Clippers club that has been playing all season without injured key cogs Elton Brand and Shaun Livingston — did show plenty of pep on the home floor Friday.

"It was good after the game we had (Thursday) night," Sloan said. "I thought we moved the ball pretty well, did a little bit better defensively in the ballgame — which gave us a chance to win it."

The Jazz rotated and got back in transition like they should.

They beat the 11-24 Clippers 46-30 in the paint, 43-34 on the boards and 15-4 on second-chance points.

They chased down lose balls, they ran the floor with interest and they nabbed a whopping 12 steals — including three each by backup point guard Jason Hart and backup power forward Paul Millsap.

They did against the Clippers, in other words, everything they needed to against the Nuggets — but did not.

"(Thursday) night was terrible help-side D," said Boozer, who finished with 10 rebounds and a team-high 19 points, "and (Friday night) was terrific."

"We haven't played our best basketball, at all. Somewhat at home, but on the road we just don't have it," Williams added. "For some reason, we don't have that same energy, that same defensive mentality we do here. You see us here, we're getting deflections, or guys are down on the floor. Those are the things we have to do on the road."

Things like jumping on an opponent early, like the Jazz — who still are on the fringe of the Western Conference playoff picture looking in — did in building an 11-point lead in the first quarter.

Like cutting hard to the basket, like Kyle Korver did to score with a Matt Harpring pass that made it 46-29 late in the opening half — part of a run in which they extended their first-half lead to as many as 19.

Like going for the kill, too, like when Millsap stole an errant Brevin Knight pass and pushed it ahead to Harpring, who tapped it up to ex-Clipper Hart for a fastbreak layup that gave Utah its largest lead of the game, 23, at 98-75 with eight-and-a-half minutes remaining.

The Clippers did not get any closer than 16 the rest of the way, allowing those in the Jazz locker room to dwell much more on what they haven't done early this season than on what they did Friday.

"We've just got to do it," Boozer said of winning more consistently on the road. "I don't know what it is.

"But we've got to figure it out," he added. "If it is a mindset thing, or it's an effort thing, or whatever it is, we've got to get the job on the road so we can catch up and get in the playoffs, or we'll be on vacation in early April."


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