“They get fouls on the perimeter,” coach Tyrone Corbin said. “We can’t even get fouls going to the basket. It’s the way it is.”
The Jazz had previously been aggravated by the officiating with 41.9 seconds left, when Paul Millsap appeared to be fouled on a cut to the basket that could have put the Jazz up 112-111.
In one of the best free throw shooting games imaginable, the Jazz were 37 of 40 from the foul line, while the Clippers were 33 of 41.
It was Utah’s second loss to the Clippers amid L.A.’s 16-game winning streak, which has yielded a league best 24-6 record. Friday’s loss mirrored Dec. 3’s, when the Jazz blew a 14-point lead (their biggest in a loss before Friday) and Foye had a shot at the buzzer that could have won the game.
“We made some mistakes, but we fought our way through it and had a chance to win the ballgame at the end,” Corbin said.
The Jazz trailed 29-22 at the end of the first quarter, but behind big performances from Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks outscored the Clippers 36-19 in the second.
Hayward scored 11 of his 17 points in the second quarter.
However, the Clippers made their run in the third quarter largely with the Jazz starters on the floor.
“I thought the guys played hard,” Corbin said. “I thought we were competing against them, they were competing against us. I thought we played with the same energy they had.”
Before Friday, the Clippers had won seven straight games by double digits. But that was little consolation, even as the Jazz will travel Saturday to Los Angeles for Sunday’s rematch at Staples Center.
“We gave up a game that we should have won here,” Jamaal Tinsley said.
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