The Jazz were the third victim. On Friday night, they hope to avoid becoming No. 16.
The Los Angeles Clippers have won 15 straight games, including a wacky 105-104 victory over the Jazz on Dec. 3. The Clippers enter Friday’s game at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City on an absolute tear. Their last seven wins have been by more than 10 points, including a 106-77 drubbing of Boston on Thursday in L.A.
The Jazz (15-15), who play the Clippers again at Staples Center on Sunday, are reeling. Beating the Clippers would at least temporarily remedy their own woes, which include the indefinite absence of point guard Mo Williams (right thumb sprain) and the fact they have lost five of their last seven games, all by double figures.
“Teams like this add a little more gas to the fire,” Jazz forward Paul Millsap said. “You want to beat a team to stop a streak.”
But how can the Jazz pull that off?
“Just the little things,” Jamaal Tinsley said. “Being in the right spot, making the extra pass, helping your teammate out. Just playing hard for 48 minutes and taking care of the ball. Certain things you can control, you can control taking care of the ball, we can control missing shots.”
The Jazz are shooting just 44 percent from the field, and were held to 38 percent in Wednesday’s 94-83 loss to Memphis.
The Clippers are a nightly ESPN attraction, with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan lighting up the scoreboard with dunks and blocks. Millsap said the Jazz can’t allow the Clippers to get the exciting plays that have come to define the 23-6 Clippers.
“You see a team out there having fun like they are,” Millsap said, “it’s kind of tough not to let it get under your skin.”
Griffin leads the Clippers with 18 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, while point guard Chris Paul averages a near-double-double, with 15.7 points per game and 9.6 assists.
Randy Foye, who spent the last two seasons with the Clippers, said “the crazy thing about” Paul is that “he really wants to pass the ball.”