Clippers assured of winning season after downing Jazz
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Elton Brand and Sam Cassell each scored 22
points, as the Los Angeles Clippers clinched their first winning season in
over a decade with a 106-91 victory over the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center.
Chris Kaman had a solid outing with 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers
(42-29), who are ensured of finishing above .500 for the first time since
1991-92 (45-37). Vladimir Radmanovic tallied 14 points and Corey Maggette
scored 13 for Los Angeles, which is 1 1/2 games ahead of Memphis for the fifth
spot in the Western Conference.
“It’s great. I think the biggest thing now is not to get complacent,” Maggette
said. “We still have to strive for the best.”
The Clippers have won nine of their last 13 overall and beat Utah in two of
the three meetings this season. It’s the first time the Clippers have beaten
the Jazz in the season series in 20 years.
Mehmet Okur had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Utah, which had its two-game
winning streak broken and fell two games behind Sacramento for the final
playoff slot in the West.
Los Angeles turned a one-point lead into a 13-point cushion going into the
fourth quarter. A 20-7 run in the period extended LA to a 77-64 lead. Five
straight points from Brand capped the rally and the Clippers maintained their
double digit lead the rest of the way.
The Clippers used a 19-4 run to close the opening quarter leading 29-19.
However, Utah rebounded to get within 53-52 at the half.
Andrei Kirilenko added 17 points for Utah, while Matt Harpring scored 16.
Deron Williams and Keith McLeod each had 12 points for the Jazz, who also got
nine points and 11 boards from Carlos Boozer.
“We did a great job, only in the second quarter,” Kirilenko said. “For the
whole game we were kind of relaxed and let the Clippers score lots of easy
layups. They were just shooting with a great percentage.”
Friday’s win gave the Clippers their first season-series win over the Jazz
since the 1985-86 campaign when Los Angeles won three of four meetings…The
1974-75 Buffalo Braves recorded the most wins in franchise history with 49.
The Clippers win Friday ensured the sixth winning record in franchise history,
and the third since the team moved to California…The Clippers are 34-2
record when leading or tied after three quarters…The Jazz held a 40-30 edge