While the Los Angeles Clippers won't blame a noticeable amount of fatigue for the end of their latest winning streak, it's hard to deny that their recent schedule has been rather full.
Set to play their 10th game in 15 days, the Clippers will look to bounce back Saturday night at Staples Center with an eighth straight victory over the Utah Jazz.
Los Angeles held off Washington 110-103 on Wednesday, but never led in Thursday's 111-92 loss at Golden State - its first defeat in five games and just its third in its last 13. The Warriors held a 66-22 edge in points in the paint and a 53-34 advantage in rebounding as the Clippers (33-16) were held 14 points below their season average while playing their fifth game in seven nights.
"It is what it is. At the end of the day everybody goes through something like this at some point and I swear everybody plays 82 (games),' said coach Doc Rivers. "We're doing well through it; we've lost one game, this one. Now we've got to try to get our legs back in time for (Utah)."
After playing eight of nine on the road, the Clippers will play six of their next seven at Staples. Even more enticing for Los Angeles, it won't play another back-to-back set until after the All-Star break and has just one between now and St. Patrick's Day after having three in the past two weeks.
"It won't be easy but we'll get home, get some rest, regroup and get back on our horse," guard Jamal Crawford said.
This time, it'll be the Jazz who are playing the second end of a back-to-back. Utah (16-30) had a chance to record its first three-game winning streak of the season Friday against Golden State, but couldn't hang on to a seven-point halftime lead as Stephen Curry had 44 points in the Warriors' 95-90 victory.
Despite the loss, the team got another strong performance from guard Alec Burks. Burks averaged 18.8 points as a starter in the five games Gordon Hayward missed with a hip flexor, and he's averaged 17.3 off the bench in the past four as a reserve after putting up 26 on Friday.
Burks may need to step up again Saturday. Marvin Williams (heel) and Derrick Favors (hip) missed Friday's loss and starter Jeremy Evans left in the second quarter after a nasty fall.
All are questionable against the Clippers as Utah tries to improve on its 3-7 record on the second night of a back-to-back.
One of those losses came on Dec. 28 at Staples Center as Blake Griffin scored a season-high 40 points and Los Angeles won 98-90.
Griffin has averaged 25.4 points in the 14 games Chris Paul has been out of the lineup.
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