Clippers-Jazz Preview


With Blake Griffin playing at an MVP level, the Los Angeles Clippers have been close to unstoppable offensively during the league's longest current winning streak.

There's little reason to think Griffin and the Clippers won't continue both trends in Salt Lake City.

Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles seeks its 10th consecutive victory while beating the Northwest-worst Utah Jazz for a ninth straight time Friday night.

Griffin added another memorable dunk Wednesday while finishing with 30 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Clippers (46-20) to a 111-98 home win over Golden State. The star forward highlighted the team's ninth straight victory - one better than San Antonio for the longest active streak - by slamming down a one-handed rebound with 8:18 remaining.

Danny Granger added 18 points, his highest-scoring game in almost two years, to help the Clippers extend their longest streak since a 17-game run Nov. 28-Dec. 30, 2012.

"This is the time of year when you want to be playing your best," Griffin said. "Our fight has been great. Whoever is on the court ... up 10 or down 10, I think we've come to a point where it doesn't really matter."

Griffin has led that fight, ranking fourth in the league with 28.8 points per game since Feb. 3 while shooting 55.9 percent. He's scored at least 20 in 24 consecutive games, the second-longest current streak in the NBA.

On Wednesday, the four-time All-Star joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Charles Barkley as the only players in league history to have 6,000 points, 3,000 boards and 1,000 assists in his first four seasons while also making 50 percent from the field.

Griffin has totaled 65 points in leading Los Angeles to home wins over the Jazz (22-43) in both meetings this season. In his last three trips to Salt Lake City, he's averaged 27.7 points and 12.7 boards while shooting 67.3 percent.

The Clippers average an NBA-high 107.9 points and have put up 115.0 per game during the win streak, shooting 50.9 percent from the field and 41.1 from 3-point range. They've stayed hot despite missing second-leading scorer Jamal Crawford, who could sit out for the sixth time in seven games due to a calf injury.

Los Angeles should expect to maintain its production against a Jazz team that has allowed 106.3 points per game on 51.6 percent shooting in its last six.

Opponents have hit 43.5 percent from beyond the arc in that span, and Dallaswas a season-best 13 of 21 in a 108-101 win in Utah on Wednesday. The Jazz went 5 of 26 from 3-point range.

Trey Burke, though, has eight 3-pointers over the past two games while totaling 43 points. The rookie guard averaged 8.0 points on 26.2 percent shooting, including 4 of 23 from beyond the arc, in the previous four games.

"He's doing a good job as we finish up the season staying focused and learning the pace of how you have to play," said coach Tyrone Corbin, whose club has dropped seven of eight.

Burke, though, had a combined 18 points on 6-of-27 shooting in two losses to the Clippers. Enes Kanter had double-doubles in both games, most recently posting 23 points and 14 rebounds in a 102-87 defeat Feb. 1.

Chris Paul missed that game with a shoulder injury, though the Clippers have won all seven against Utah when he's taken the floor.

The Jazz have dropped the last three home meetings following a stretch in which they won 47 of 48, including the playoffs.