Smith Helps Lead Clippers to Victory Over Jazz, 95-92
Charles Smith scored six of his 24 points in the final 3 minutes 11 seconds Tuesday night as the Clippers snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Utah Jazz with a 95-92 victory at the Salt Palace.
Ken Norman added 16 points and Tom Garrick 15 for the Clippers, who won for only the fourth time in 40 road games this season. Karl Malone scored 26 points for Utah, 33-7 at home.
Malone put the Jazz ahead, 92-91, with 1:16 remaining, but Smith scored with 54 seconds left to give the Clippers the lead for good. After Thurl Bailey missed a shot and Utah’s Mark Eaton blocked one by Kevin Williams, John Stockton controlled the ball but slipped and lost it with 12 seconds to play.
After a timeout, the Clippers inbounded and Utah failed to foul until there was one second left. Smith made two free throws for the final margin, and Darrell Griffith missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Smith scored 12 points in the first quarter that ended with Utah ahead, 27-25. But neither team held more than a three-point lead. The Jazz led, 51-49, at halftime.
The Jazz took a 58-51 early in the third period, but the Clippers went on a 14-2 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 65-60, before Utah went ahead, 73-71, as the final quarter started.
“This was a solid win because it ranks right up there with the one over the Lakers the other night,” Clipper Coach Don Casey said.
Said Smith: “The Jazz played hard despite having clinched a playoff spot long ago. We both played hard last night, when the Jazz beat us at our home, but we just put it together tonight.”
The Clippers had not beaten the Jazz since a 100-88 victory on Nov. 10, 1987.
“We let the ball get away from us down the stretch,” Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan said. “They just executed better than we did.”