After winning a key matchup in the race for playoff position, the Jazz look to continue their home dominance of the Clippers on Saturday night.
A 116-108 victory over Phoenix on Thursday night kept Utah (39-22) in fourth place in the Western Conference, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Suns.
“You never know what’s going to happen and who’s going to end up where in the playoffs,” Jazz forward Carlos Boozer(notes) said. “Especially when you’re playing in the ‘Wild West’ where every game is monumental.”
Utah erased an 11-point deficit with 7:43 remaining and avoided its fourth loss in six games. Three days earlier, the Jazz nearly overcame a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter of a 108-104 road loss to the Clippers (25-37).
At home, though, Utah has won 39 of its last 40 against Los Angeles. The Jazz are averaging 107.3 points and shooting 50.8 percent during that stretch.
Utah is 24-8 at EnergySolutions Arena this season, averaging 106.2 points and shooting a league-best 51.4 percent.
Jazz point guard Deron Williams(notes), who has been playing with a brace on his injured right wrist, is averaging 27.5 points and 12.5 assists while shooting 61.8 percent in his last two home games. Williams scored 13 of his 27 points versus the Suns in the fourth quarter.
Williams made 5-of-9 shots from 3-point range and the Jazz finished 12 of 24. Utah is shooting 46.9 percent from beyond the arc over its last three contests.
Los Angeles was held to 37.2 percent shooting from the field in a 104-87 loss to Oklahoma City on Friday.
“It’s going to be tough for us to win a game shooting below 38 percent from the floor,” coach Kim Hughes told the Clippers’ official Web site.
The Clippers have lost four of five after winning their previous three. They’ve also dropped five straight on the road, with opponents averaging 113.2 points and shooting 49.4 percent from 3-point range.
He got some much-needed help in the frontcourt Friday from reserve Craig Smith(notes), who had 19 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes after missing two games with a biceps strain. Smith’s absence had been putting more pressure on Kaman to score in the post.
Los Angeles got a combined 13 points on 5-of-22 shooting from starting guards Eric Gordon(notes) and Baron Davis(notes). Gordon, however, is averaging 20.7 points in his last three games against Utah, going 8 for 16 from beyond the arc.
Utah is 2-1 against Los Angeles this season.