Chris Paul badly wanted win over Jazz
Chris Paul remembered the last time the Clippers played the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City on Jan. 17, a game he couldn’t forget in how his team was “embarrassed.”
Paul wanted to do something about that Wednesday night, and he wanted all of his Clippers teammates to join forces with him to right what he saw as a wrong.
He did, and so did the Clippers, pulling out a stirring and impressive victory over the Jazz, 107-105, at EnergySolutions Arena, giving the team its first victory here since Jan. 22, 2003, a span of 16 consecutive losses.
The Clippers lost by 29 points the last time they came here to play the Jazz. The Clippers were down as much as 34 points in that game.
They watched the Jazz go on a dunk feast in the fourth quarter.
Paul didn’t play in that game, sitting out with a strained left hamstring.
But he played Wednesday night, scoring 12 of his season-high 34 points in the fourth. He was five-for-seven from the field and made his only three-pointer.
He scored eight consecutive points at one point in the fourth.
His 21-foot jumper gave the Clippers a 90-87 lead. His up-and-under layup on a baseline drive gave the Clippers a 92-87 lead. His 17-foot jumper gave the Clippers a 94-90 lead. His 19-foot jumper gave the Clippers a 96-92 lead.
“The last time we played here, I sat here and watched how they sort of embarrassed us,” said Paul, who was 15 for 24 from the field. “You hear the crowd. Somebody like me, I couldn’t wait to get here for this next game.”
The Clippers came up big in the fourth quarter, holding the Jazz to 37.5% shooting.
The Clippers were impressive at the free-throw line, making 13 of 15 (86.7%) in the fourth quarter, and were 18 for 23 (78.3%) for the game.
“I think it showed some growth of our team in being able to come back when we got down and to fight through,” Paul said. “This was a good win for us.”
-- Broderick Turner, reporting from Salt Lake City
Photo: Chris Paul. Credit: Jim Urquhart / Associated Press.