Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/31/12
LOS ANGELES -- The way things are going for the Los Angeles Clippers, even a disappearing act by Blake Griffin is not enough to stop the magic. Not with Caron Butler and Jamal Crawford able to pull a rabbit out of a hat in a moment's notice. Butler scored 29 points, including 17 in the first quarter, and Crawford dominated the fourth quarter as the Clippers picked up their 17th consecutive win, beating the Utah Jazz 107-96 Sunday night at Staples Center. After barely eking out wins in two previous matchups with the Jazz this season -- 116-114 at Utah on Friday night and 105-104 at Staples Center on Dec. 3 -- the Clippers survived a brutal third-quarter stretch Sunday before their balanced bench sparked a big fourth quarter. The Jazz used a 17-4 run to take a 76-75 lead with just under two minutes left in the third quarter, but the Clippers regained the lead -- and the momentum -- in a hurry, never looking back. Los Angeles outscored Utah 28-20 in the fourth quarter while hitting 10 of 12 free throws. Crawford had 11 points in the quarter to help lift the Clippers to the win. "Jamal is points from anywhere, from a variety of different ways," said Griffin, who was limited to seven points and seven rebounds in just under 26 minutes of action. "He can shoot the 3, he gets to the hole, he gets fouled. He's done a great job of passing and setting up teammates throughout this streak. He's a huge part of our offense, especially that second group that comes in. He's really the guy we look to to make plays when things aren't happening." Butler, however, deserves credit for keeping his teammates in Sunday's game. Butler he hit all five of his 3-point attempts in the first quarter to stake the Clippers a 29-24 lead. Los Angeles shot 57 percent from the field in the opening period, then got even hotter in the second, hitting 11 of 16 attempts to claim a 54-45 halftime advantage. "That was huge, no question," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said of Butler's early efforts. "I said that after the game to Caron; I thought he gave us a big boost early and in the third quarter, just scoring the ball. I thought we were -- I don't want to say lethargic -- but we just didn't have that extra step early on. We finally found our way, got our rhythm back, and different guys stepped up." Chris Paul and Crawford each finished with 19 points for the Clippers, and Paul added nine assists and five steals. Los Angeles center DeAndre Jordan scored 14 points. Al Jefferson had 30 points on 13-of-22 shooting to lead Utah. Gordon Hayward added 16 points off the bench for the Jazz, who have lost three straight. The fell by five points or fewer for the fifth time this season. "We've been right there, but I don't think that's good enough," Hayward said. "We have to be able to finish plays at the end of the games. We can't have those lapses where we don't score the basketball, where we give up a 10-0 run, a 12-0 run." NOTES: Chauncey Billups (peroneal tendinitis), Grant Hill (knee) and Trey Thompkins (knee) remain out for the Clippers. ... Former Los Angeles guard Mo Williams (sprained right thumb) and Raja Bell (not with team) were sidelined for the Jazz. ... Utah guard Randy Foye played the previous two seasons with Los Angeles, averaging 10.4 points per game. He scored 10 points in 28 minutes Sunday. ... Entering the game, Paul led the NBA in assist-turnover ratio (4.42-to-1) and steals (79) and ranked second in assists (9.4 per game). ... Jordan had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the Clippers' win Friday. ... Utah won back-to-back games over the Clippers in November 2008, the last time the two teams matched up in consecutive games. ... Utah entered the night ranked third in the NBA in offensive rebounds. The Jazz grabbed 10 offensive boards Sunday, just one more than the Clippers pulled down. ... Utah is 2-7 since its 99-96 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Dec. 12.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WWE has record revenue despite perceived troubles

CC Sabathia declares himself ‘ready to go’ after alcohol rehab

Report: Suns still want to deal Morris before trade deadline

Report: Celtics could offer best deal for Dwight Howard

Hawks 'taking phone calls about everybody on the roster'

Philly mayor calls LeSean McCoy ‘cowardly'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Price might not return this season due to knee injury

Matt Forte confirms he won’t be returning to Bears

Cardinals GM: ‘No doubt’ team wants Mathieu as fixture

Charles Barkley on Stephen Curry: ‘He’s just a great shooter’

Louisiana governor warns that LSU football could be cut

Report: People with Warriors think they will get Durant

Was Derek Fisher involved with girlfriend of former Knick?

Steven Stamkos unforthcoming on his no-move clause

Antonio Cromartie's wife is 'definitely' getting her tubes tied

Ciara: It’s getting harder to stay abstinent with Russell Wilson

The top five millennial NBA All-Star moments

Cam Newton sends message with ‘I win my way’ shirt

26% of Denver students skipped school for Broncos parade

Eight surprises, letdowns entering NBA All-Star break

Chris Harris: Von Miller should get paid more than JJ Watt

4 likeliest Dwight Howard trade scenarios

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Penn State the latest to offer generic football jerseys for sale

Gary Bettman praises the NHL’s new website and app (which are currently awful)

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker