The LA Clippers defeat the Utah Jazz to finish the year with the best possible way and record their 17th consecutive win
Caron Butler with 29 points and 6/6 from beyond the arc lifted the Los Angeles Clippers over the Utah Jazz, 107-96. It was the second straight win in 3 days against Utah for LA, who have now won 17 in a row and finished the whole December unbeaten. Despite the difficulties they faced in the previous close game against the Jazz, this time the Clippers had no problem to smash their opponents. They now enter the New Year with the best momentum that any team has in the league and can finally praise themselves for their achievement.
Only two other teams in the entire NBA history have managed to stay unbeaten for an entire month, them being the 1995-96 San Antonio Spurs, which included Del Negro, and 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. Commenting on the run, All-Star guard Chris Paul commented “I am amazed because I haven’t done it since I’ve been in the league” while Head Coach Vinnie Del Negro stated “I want to do this every year. This has got to be a staple of how we go about doing our business. We’re thinking bigger than the streak.” It’s clear that despite of all the enthusiasm and the fireworks around the streak, the Coach tries to keep things under control so his team does not rest on it and keep pushing forward for the first games in 2013.
Butler, who led his team in scoring, had 17 points in the first 12 minutes going 5 from 5 beyond the 3 point-line. Paul finished with 19 points and 9 assists and Jamal Crawford had 19 off the bench. The Clippers managed to get a double digit win and score over 100 points even with Blake Griffin staying cold, just 7 points for him and 5 shooting attempts. DeAndre Jordan had an impressive performance with 14 points and 3 blocks, including one highlight spike stop to a layup attempt from Jamal Tinsley. He also had a couple of nice alley-hoop dunks plus he makes them look so easy, because with his long wingspan he can catch the ball literally from anywhere it’s thrown.
For the Utah Jazz it was Al Jefferson who led his team with 30 points and 8 rebounds, but this wasn’t enough for them to escape with a win. Gordon Hayward finished with 16 off the bench and Derrick Favors added 11.
The Clippers are now 25-6, 15-3 at home and they enter 2013 with the greatest expectations for more. They surely are one of the most enjoyable teams to watch, not only for the team’s fans, but for any basketball and sports fan.
This first week in the New Year the Clippers will have a tough schedule. They host the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday and then the Golden State Warriors. On Friday night they play as the away team against the Los Angeles Lakers and on Saturday they face the Warriors once again.
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