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Close call helps Clippers rally past Jazz

Published December 5, 2012 11:32 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Los Angeles Clippers used 30 points by Blake Griffin, a dominating fourth quarter by All-Star Chris Paul and the benefit a close call with 1:14 left Monday night to rally past the Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena.

The controversial call during L.A.'s 105-104 win came after the Jazz took a 99-97 lead on Mo Williams' 3-point shot.

On the Clippers' next possession, veteran Chauncey Billups ended up with the ball at the 3-point line. His shot missed but Williams was called for a foul by official Dick Bavetta.

TV replays clearly showed Billups stuck out his left leg as Williams ran past him, creating the contact before falling to the court.

Billups made two of his three free throws and the Clippers never trailed again.

"It was just a kick-out situation," said Billups. "I saw Mo closing real hard on me. I went up and really just tried to get the shot off. I don't know if he got a piece of the ball or not. I was just happy I got to shoot free throws."

Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin wasn't sure Billups should have been rewarded with a trip to the free-throw line.

"At best, I thought it may have been an offensive foul," Corbin said, "because one of the points of emphasis, I thought, was you can't throw your arms and legs out."

According to Corbin, Williams "did a good job of challenging the shot and I thought he tried to get to the side of him. ...

"Big call. Referee saw it a different way, but I thought we did everything we could do to challenge the shot."

Asked about the play, Williams looked at reporters, rubbed some lotion into his hands and said, "Hmm."

He paused before a member of the Jazz public relations staff said, "Next question."

Later, after the crowd of reporters thinned, Williams said, "[Billups] is a vet. ... I can't get mad. I get some of those. It just happened at the wrong time."

Said teammate Randy Foye: "It depends on the view that the ref had. I don't think he had the best view. [But] referees are human, too. So, I just feel as though … I ain't gonna get into it no more."