Jazz notes: Utah awaits Blake Griffin, Pacific-leading Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin flew into Salt Lake City on Tuesday, presumably aboard an airplane.
During a 112-100 win over Oklahoma City on Monday night, Griffin created a league-wide sensation with a high-flying monster dunk against the Thunder's Kendrick Perkins.
What did Paul Millsap think of Griffin's dunk?
"What everybody else thinks," he said, laughing. "It was amazing, the courage he showed to even try something like that."
The Jazz play Griffin and the Clippers on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. at EnergySolutions Arena.
"An interesting dunk," Josh Howard said. "I really don't get too excited about stuff like that. But to see that, in game, kind of reminded me of myself in high school. So hats off to Blake. Sorry to Perkins."
About the time Jeremy Evans helped fuel the Jazz's 93-89 comeback win against Portland with a sensational dunk, Griffin was posterizing Perkins in Los Angeles.
"Usually when you get hit like he did, you don't make the dunk," Evans said. "But he said, 'I'm going this way and you're coming with me.' â¦ Guys don't usually make a dunk with all that contact."
Looking for payback
The Clippers, who have played an NBA-low 18 games, lead the Pacific Division with a 12-6 record.
The Jazz crushed L.A. on Jan. 17, 108-79, but the Clippers played without injured guards Chris Paul and Mo Williams.
"They are playing well right now and they've got guys back," coach Tyrone Corbin said. " â¦ They didn't have success here last time. We beat them pretty good. So they are going to want to repay us."
Paul had 26 points and 14 against Oklahoma City.
"He's a floor general," Millsap said. "He's going to run everything. He's going to run the show. He's going to set guys up. On a team like that with so many athletic guys with so many offensive skills you need a set-up guy. He's the set-up guy."
Howard stepping up
The Jazz will be short-handed again when they play the Clippers.
Raja Bell won't play because of a strained adductor, and Al Jefferson will be a game-time decision because of a sore ankle.
Howard, who had 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists in a season-high 38 minutes against Portland, will once again start in Bell's place.
"It was my longest stretch in a while and I could tell," Howard said. "My shot wasn't real strong. But overall sticking with the defense and the game plan that was great."
Said Corbin: "I thought as the game went forward, he got better."
Howard was on the floor for 10 minutes in the fourth quarter, including a stretch when the Jazz used a 13-0 run to grab an 87-79 lead.
"That's when guys come out and show their talents," he said. "I thought we did a great job, with the pieces we were missing. Other guys stepped up all-around."