Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/29/12
SALT LAKE CITY -- It took quite the comeback, but the streak lives on. Chris Paul hit two free throws with 3.4 seconds remaining to give the Clippers the lead, and Los Angeles rallied to stun the Utah Jazz 116-114 Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena for its 16th consecutive win. A desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer by Utah's Randy Foye bounced off the rim. Paul finished with 29 points and six assists, and Blake Griffin added 22 points and 13 rebounds as the Clippers overcame a 19-point, second-half deficit. "It was a good test," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "Give Utah credit, but our guys battled back tonight. They found a way to win, and that's what it is all about." DeAndre Jordan contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds, Caron Butler added 14 points, and Willie Green chipped in with 10 to help the Clippers improve to 24-6. It was Los Angeles' second win this month in Utah. The Clippers eked out a 105-104 victory Dec. 3. "They're a good team," said Foye, who played for the Clippers before signing as a free agent with the Jazz in the last offseason. "They got to the free-throw line. They hit some shots. They got some offensive rebounds. They played well. They came back. They played like the best team in the NBA." Foye had a season-high 28 points, but he didn't get the foul he was looking for after Matt Barnes bumped into him on his attempt at the buzzer. "I pump-faked, he knew I wanted to shoot the 3, and I felt the contact," Foye said. "I went straight up, and it made me shoot the ball straight down. ... It just was a tough play." Al Jefferson scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Gordon Hayward added 17 points off the bench for the Jazz, who fell to 15-16. Utah suffered its third consecutive home defeat, and its sixth loss in eight games. Everything was going the Jazz's way for the first 28 minutes. Paul Millsap hit two free throws to give Utah a 74-55 lead four minutes into the second half, but that's when the Clippers went to work. "This one is a great win for us," Griffin said, "because we kind of needed a challenge and something to prove not only to everybody else but to ourselves that we can still win close games like this and win a game down 19 in the third quarter." Barnes began the comeback with a 3-pointer, sparking a 16-2 Clippers run. By the time the third quarter ended, Los Angeles had sliced its deficit to 88-84. Three minutes into the fourth, the Clippers tied it for the first time since early in the game. Butler hit a 3-pointer while being fouled by Hayward, and he completed the four-point play to knot the score at 90-90. The Jazz regained a five-point lead when Alec Burks' reverse layup made it 101-96 with 5:44 remaining. Paul, Griffin and Jordan took over from there, with the Clippers taking their first lead of the second half on a three-point play by Jordan. Jefferson gave Utah the lead back by hitting two foul shots with 1:40 remaining, but Paul answered with two free throws and a jumper with 23.4 seconds to go as the Clippers took a 113-110 lead. The Jazz weren't quite finished, though. Foye hit two free throws, and then Jefferson added a pair after Paul's hit-and-miss trip to the line, tying the game at 114-114 with 17.1 remaining. Jefferson fouled Paul with 3.4 seconds to go while the Clippers guard drove from beyond the arc. Paul's foul shots gave Los Angeles the game-winning points. "We just stayed with it," Paul said. "We walked out, I think in the third quarter, and I looked up at the clock and saw we were down 16. I was thinking to myself that we can come back, but we are going to have to work real hard. It started on the defensive end." NOTES: The Jazz and Clippers will play again Sunday in Los Angeles. ... Jazz starting point guard Mo Williams remains out indefinitely with a severely sprained right thumb. "It's frustrating to say the least," Williams said. "We're just getting the swelling down." Williams might need another MRI done on his thumb to find out if surgery is required. In the meantime, he continues to wear a brace to protect his thumb. ... Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said he was disappointed to hear about Avery Johnson being fired by the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday. "You go from Coach of the Month to not being there anymore, it's a little difficult," Corbin said. "We wish him well. He's a good guy and he's a hard worker." ... Clippers backup big man Lamar Odom limped off the court in the second quarter, but he returned to action. He finished with three points in 14 minutes. ... Los Angeles improved to 4-2 on the second night of back-to-back games.
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