Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/3/12
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SALT LAKE CITY -- Blake Griffin scored 30 points, and Jamal Crawford hit two key free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Utah Jazz 105-104 Monday night. Utah's Randy Foye hit a 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining and then stole the inbounds pass from his former team, but the guard couldn't get off a potential game-winning shot before the final buzzer. Mo Williams, who played for the Clippers the previous season and a half, led Utah with 20 points and a season-high 12 assists. Foye added 19 points. It wasn't quite enough for the Jazz to prevent their first loss at EnergySolutions Arena in seven home games this season. The Jazz led by as many as 13 points in the first half, but Griffin and Crawford, who scored 20, sparked the Clippers' comeback. Los Angeles (11-6) won its third win in a row. Utah (9-10) lost its third consecutive game, even though the team shot 74 percent in the first quarter and 56.8 percent for the game. Utah center Al Jefferson finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, but he had a potential game-tying dunk blocked by DeAndre Jordan in the final half-minute. Clippers point guard Chris Paul drove by his defender, 6-foot-8 DeMarre Carroll, who was screened by Jordan, then blew past Jefferson before laying it up and putting Los Angeles ahead for good with 39.9 seconds remaining at 101-99. That set up a bizarre finish. First Jordan blocked Jefferson, but Clippers forward Matt Barnes kept Utah's hopes alive by missing two of four free throws. Crawford's two foul shots put the Clippers ahead 105-101 with 5.7 seconds left, which seemed like a safe lead considering Utah didn't have any timeouts remaining. Foye hit a 3-pointer, tipped an initial inbounds pass out of bounds and then picked off Chauncey Billups' errant pass behind the 3-point arc. The buzzer sounded as Foye was going up for a final shot. After a rough weekend, the Jazz came out with extra energy in the first half Monday. Utah outscored Los Angeles 31-19 and shot 74 percent in perhaps its best first quarter of the season. The Jazz went ahead by as many as 13 points in the opening half, even getting good play from the end of their bench. Griffin caught fire in the second quarter and scored 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting, but Utah took a 58-51 lead into the locker room at halftime. Hayward topped Jazz scorers off the bench with 13 points, including two free throws. Though the Clippers have the Lob City nickname, the Jazz have the reigning NBA dunk champion, Jeremy Evans, who had two crowd-pleasing slams in the first half. One was a high-flying putback, and Earl Watson teamed up with him for a nice alley-oop dunk. NOTES: Jazz starting small forward Marvin Williams (concussion-like symptoms) and key backup big man Derrick Favors (strained right arch) missed Monday's game. Both are day-to-day. ... Favors had an MRI exam Sunday that was inconclusive, but an ultrasound on Monday confirmed that he has plantar fasciitis. ... The Jazz held a moment of silence before tipoff in honor of the late Rick Majerus, who led the University of Utah to the NCAA championship game in 1998. Majerus was at Utah from 1989-2004, his longest coaching stint.
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