Page last updated on Fri May 29 18:28:00 EDT 2015
12/04/2012 1:32 AM EST
Griffin scores 30, Clippers beat Jazz 105-104

AP Sports Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Randy Foye knew what was coming. He had
seen Chris Paul do it many times as a teammate in Los Angeles
last year.

This time, going against the Clippers, Foye raced backcourt to
steal the inbounds pass and put up a 3-pointer that would have
won the game for the Utah Jazz.

Unlike his 3-pointer that pulled Utah within one point with 1.2
seconds remaining, this one missed its mark and was too late,
allowing the Clippers to hang on for the 105-104 victory in Salt
Lake City.

"I wish there were 3 seconds left because I would have been able
to get to the basket or line it up and knock it down," said
Foye, who came to the Jazz as a free-agent this offseason.

"But it wasn't meant to be."

Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with a season-high 30 points and
Jamal Crawford added 20 off the bench, including a pair of late
free throws for the Clippers.

Early on, Monday's game looked like it might be a Jazz blowout.

"In the first half, it was almost a waste of time because no one
showed up," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said of his team,
which was still down 14 late in the third. "Our defense was
weak, we were soft and we had no toughness. ... But I was very
pleased with the way we responded ... and made plays down the

One of the biggest came from 6-foot-11 center DeAndre Jordan. He
blocked Al Jefferson's short floater that would have tied the
score at 101 with 26 seconds remaining.

"That block was the play of the game," Paul said. "DJ had to
cover a lot of ground to get there and block that shot."

From there, the teams would trade free throws, with Matt Barnes
and Crawford sinking a pair each for L.A. and Mo Williams making
two for the Jazz until Foye nearly became the Jazz hero.

The loss was the first at home this season for the Jazz and
first at home for Utah since a 107-105 setback against Phoenix
on April 4.

Early on, a pair of ex-Clippers did much of the damage.

Williams led the Jazz (9-10) against his former team with 20
points and 12 assists, and Foye added 19 points. Al Jefferson
had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Utah.

Paul added 14 points for Los Angeles, but scored six in the
fourth on 3-of-4 shooting after the Clippers entered the quarter
trailing by 10.

"He's a gamer," Williams said of Paul. "He's going to show up in
the fourth quarter. I've seen it enough. But I thought we did
our job tonight. Unfortunately things just didn't go our way."

There was the foul on Chauncey Billups by Williams on an errant
3-point attempt. The Jazz thought it was a flop but Billups got
the call and sank 2 of 3 free throws to tie the score at 99.

"Big call," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "The referees saw it
a different way but I thought we did everything we could to
challenge the shot."

There also was the loose-ball foul called on DeMarre Carroll
during a near scrum with 3:36 left and the Jazz clinging to a
3-point lead.

Crawford hit a 22-foot jumper to pull the Clippers within 94-93
a few seconds later.

And there was Jordan's block.

"DJ can affect the game in so many ways," said Griffin. "That
play was as big of a play as we had all night."

It helped the Clippers (11-6) win their third straight, and
third with Billups back in the lineup.

Jordan said the defensive effort against Jefferson made the
difference in the second half.

"I think just being physical with Al, making his catches
difficult, pushing him out on the block, just kind of denying
the post pass a little bit," Jordan said. "Our guards did a
great job of pressuring the passer, which made it a difficult
pass to get in."

The Jazz were playing without small forward Marvin Williams
because of concussion-like symptoms and power forward Derrick
Favors, who missed his second straight with plantar fasciitis.

Mo Williams, who played behind Paul and Billups last year in
L.A. and alongside Foye, did his best to make up the difference.

One of his 12 assists came on a behind-the-back gem to Jefferson
that the Jazz big man slammed for a 94-91 Utah advantage with
3:56 remaining.

He also had a pinpoint pass down the middle of the lane to Foye
for a layup that gave Utah a 31-19 lead after one quarter.

Williams downplayed that he was revved up because it was the

He gave quick bear hugs to his former teammates before the game,
and even extended a hand to help Paul up when he had the ball
stolen away in the second quarter. While there were tense
moments late after a questionable foul and players from both
sides jawed and pointed fingers in front of the Jazz bench,
Williams went over and shook his ex-teammates hands after the
game had ended.

"I knew we were playing a really good team that has a really
good point guard, one of the best in the league and just had to
step up to the challenge," Williams said. "That's every night,
but obviously when you're playing guys like that, you've got to
get extra motivated to play against them because they're so

He and Foye just didn't have enough in the end.

NOTES: The Jazz honored former University of Utah basketball
coach Rick Majerus with a moment of silence before the game.
Majerus died Saturday in Los Angeles while awaiting a heart
transplant. He was 64. ... Former Jazz shot-blocking great Mark
Eaton sat next to former coach Jerry Sloan in the stands. ...
The Jazz made 10 of their first 15 shots and were shooting 66
percent at halftime.

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