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Clippers 94, Jazz 89

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SALT LAKE CITY — Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford each scored 21 points and the Los Angeles Clippers began a long road trip with a 94-89 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday at EnergySolutions Arena.

The Clippers outscored the Jazz 26-17 in the fourth quarter to improve to 32-14.

Power forward Blake Griffin had a quiet night for him, finishing with 17 points and seven rebounds. Small forward Matt Barnes added 14 points, while reserve guard Austin Rivers chipped in with 12 points.

Power forward Enes Kanter led the Jazz with 21 points and 11 rebounds for his 11th double-double.

Ultimately, though, a 39-point second-half doomed Utah, which dropped to 16-30 despite having a lead for a good portion of the second half.

This kicked off an eight-game road trip for Los Angeles, which visits New Orleans, San Antonio, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Toronto, Oklahoma City and Dallas before returning home for one game ahead of the All-Star break.

Things got chippy in the fourth quarter, resulting in a technical foul against Griffin. The Jazz, however, couldn’t recover after the Clippers went on a 9-2 run to go ahead 90-85.

Griffin hit a key jumper with 1:44 remaining, reestablishing the Clippers’ five-point lead and squelching Utah’s final push.

Jazz point guard Trey Burke forced up an off-balanced 3-pointer with 42 seconds remaining, but it hit the side of the backboard to spoil Utah’s best shot to trim into the lead into the final minute.

Utah has lost two in a row at home after winning two straight for only the second time this season.

Center Derrick Favors scored 18 points with nine rebounds, while small forward Gordon Hayward and Burke added 11 apiece. Shooting guard Joe Ingles, who was cut by the Clippers just before the season began, finished with 10 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Utah.

NOTES: Clippers SG J.J. Redick did not dress because of back spasms. … Three Jazz players were selected to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend (Feb. 13-15). Aussie rookie PG Dante Exum and French C Rudy Gobert will be on the World team, while G Trey Burke, an Ohio native, will be on the U.S. squad in the competition of first- and second-year standouts. … Burke expects to participate in the Skills Challenge on All-Star Saturday Night. He won the event with Damian Lillard last year. … The Jazz signed SF Chris Johnson to a 10-day contract Wednesday morning. He was playing for Rio Grande of the NBA Development League.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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