The hottest team in the NBA this season, the Los Angeles Clippers, almost had their 15-game winning streak broken by the Utah Jazz, but Chris Paul made sure that would not happen. He scored the last 7 points for his team, including some clutch free throws. In addition, the great defense from Matt Barnes down to the final seconds forced a tough shot from Randy Foye that could have won the game for the Jazz, but didn’t connect thus giving the Clips the win over the Jazz by two points, 116-114.
Foye, with 28 points on 5/9 shooting from 3-point range, was determined to break the streak of his former team. He led his team in scoring and had a great shooting game, going 8-13 from the field. Al Jefferson and Gordon Hayward also had a good performance 22 and 17 points respectively for the Jazz. Despite scoring 114 points in the game and shooting a tremendous 60% from beyond the arc, the Jazz couldn’t capitalize in the end. The lead for the most part of the game and in fact had a burst 2nd quarter scoring 36 points and in the meantime holding their opponents to 19.
The Clippers were up by just 1 with 23” to go in the game and that was when Chris Paul took over. He scored a free-throw line jumper after a signature crossover dribble to allowed him to get open. At the next possession he got fouled and made 1 of two from the charity stripe to put his team up by two, 114-112. However, Blake Griffin fouled Al Jefferson while trying to rebound the ball and Big Al made both free throws that tied the game. Paul then got fouled and this time he didn’t miss from the free throw line, putting his team up by two, 116-114. That ended to be the final score of the game, after Foye’s desperate three pointer that didn’t go. He was defended with mastery by Matt Barnes, who continues to deliver great performances for his team. This time he stayed low on scoring, just 6 points, but his great defense on the last possession was the determining factor for the outcome of the game.
Paul led all scorers with 29 points to go along with 6 assists. Griffin finished with 22 and grabbed 13 rebounds. All starters for the Clippers finished in double figures. “We just got stops, defensively. They were hitting shots, we got stops and then we started hitting shots. Everything is going to balance out. Some nights you are not going to have it all four quarters. You might have it one or two and you have to make the most out of it and that is what we did.” ,said star forward Blake Griffin.
The Jazz and the Clippers face each other again on Sunday night, at their last game for the year at the Staples Center.
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