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Clippers have legs up on Jazz in 102-87 win

SportsLos Angeles ClippersNBAProfessional BasketballBasketballBlake GriffinUtah Jazz

The Clippers didn't practice Friday and didn't have a shoot-around on Saturday because Coach Doc Rivers preferred to rest their legs instead.

It was a strategy that worked for the weary Clippers, who defeated the Utah Jazz, 102-87, Saturday night at Staples Center.

The Clippers were in the midst of playing 10 games in 16 days, eight of them on the road. They had played three sets of back-to-back games during that stretch.

BOX SCORE: Clippers 102, Jazz 87

So resting their bodies was paramount for Rivers.

"I thought it was a hard game," he said. "You could see it early. We just couldn't get it going. I thought our defense tonight was terrific. It kept us in the game in the first half. In the second half, I thought it won it for us."

For the most part, the Clippers looked rested enough. Blake Griffin had more than enough in his legs to dunk, shoot and score his way to 25 points, grab 11 rebounds and hand out four assists.

Griffin completed his night by getting fouled but having the wherewithal to throw the ball up over the backboard, then watch it bounce on top and into the net with 1:30 left.

All Griffin could do was smile when he stepped to the free-throw line to complete the three-point play.

Jamal Crawford had 27 points on nine-for-15 shooting and five assists and DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and 14 rebounds.

If there was some phase of the game in which the Clippers showed tired legs, it was in shooting three-pointers.

They made just two of 11 of their three-point tries, 18.2%.

But at 34-16, the Clippers now have their second-best start through 50 games in franchise history.

They have defeated the Jazz eight consecutive times, tying L.A.'s record for the longest winning streak against an opponent; the other is the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The loss for the Jazz dropped it to 16-31, tied for the second-worst record in the Western Conference with the Lakers.

It took a long-distance lob pass from Crawford to Griffin late in the third quarter for the crowd to finally get into the game.

Griffin helped matters by catching the pass and throwing down a two-handed reverse dunk, hanging on the rim to emphasize the moment that gave the Clippers a seven-point lead.

Etc.

The Clippers are closing in on signing free-agent guard Sasha Vujacic to a 10-day contract this week, perhaps as soon as Tuesday, said NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Vujacic, who has been working out in Los Angeles, took a physical recently that the Clippers were informed of, according to the executives

Chris Paul, out since he separated his right shoulder Jan. 3 at Dallas, is hoping to return Friday when the Clippers host the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter:@BA_Turner

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SportsLos Angeles ClippersNBAProfessional BasketballBasketballBlake GriffinUtah Jazz
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