Hart gets limited time to impress

Times Staff Writer

SALT LAKE CITY-- Utah Jazz point guard Jason Hart calls his brief stint with the Clippers last season “a dream come true.”

But it ended in the off-season when Hart, an Inglewood native, signed a two-year, $4.8 million deal with the Jazz.

He played 23 games with the Clippers after they plucked him off the end of the Sacramento Kings’ bench, shortly after Shaun Livingston sustained a serious knee injury.


Hart impressed the team with how he guided the offense, but the Clippers’ priority in the off-season was in landing free-agent Steve Francis, who ultimately signed with the Houston Rockets. The Jazz offered Hart a better deal and he opted to back up Deron Williams. The Clippers then signed veteran Brevin Knight.

“He brought us stability,” Coach Mike Dunleavy said of Hart. “He’s a good defender, a good kid. He played hard and tried to do everything you told him to do.”

Hart has languished on the Jazz bench, averaging 12.6 minutes while playing behind Williams.

“I see Brevin getting all those minutes [22.5] a game. Those are my minutes,” he said. “But what are you going to do? It’s a decision made and it’s over with now.”

Forward Aaron Williams is in a bit of a holding pattern. He has not played since Dec. 14 because of a bruised left wrist but has gone through practices and dressed the last several games.

Dunleavy said Williams could be used, but that his wrist is not healed enough for him to receive steady minutes.


The Clippers finalized a second 10-day contract for guard Guillermo Diaz.



vs. New Jersey, 7:30, Ch. 5.

Site -- Staples Center.

Radio -- 710.

Records -- Clippers 11-24, Nets 18-20.

Record vs. Nets -- 1-0.

Update --The Clippers beat the Nets, 91-82, in New Jersey for the first time in nearly a decade on Dec. 11. The Nets are on a three-game losing streak. Richard Jefferson averages a team-high 23.9 points.