10:30 PM ET, November 3, 2008
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
LOS ANGELES -- Paul Millsap was playing reasonably well and the Utah Jazz had a narrow lead over the Los Angeles Clippers early in the fourth quarter when suddenly, without warning, the third-year forward from Louisiana Tech took over the game.
And when it was finished, Millsap seemed surprised by what he had just accomplished.
• The Clippers had Marcus Camby and Baron Davis together for the first time this season, but the team failed to produce anything on offense as they were held to 73 points.
• The Jazz, who have won nine of the last 12 games against the Clippers, outscored Los Angeles 53-38 in the second half.
• With the loss, the Clippers started 0-4 for the first time since 1998-99 when they went 0-17.
-- ESPN research
"Is that what it was?" Millsap responded with a smile when told he had scored 15 straight Utah points in a span of 4 minutes, 10 seconds. "I don't know what to say about it. Once you get in that zone, things start going your way."
Millsap's outburst was part of a 17-3 run that lifted the unbeaten Jazz to an 89-73 victory over the winless Clippers on Monday night.
A 3-pointer by Cuttino Mobley had cut Utah's lead to 67-64 before Millsap began his tear by making a pair of foul shots with 8:47 remaining. He finished it with a dunk with 4:37 left, giving the Jazz an 82-67 advantage.
Millsap finished with 24 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and one blocked shot.
"Paul just took the game over, that's what it comes down to," said teammate Carlos Boozer, who had 13 points and eight rebounds.
"He has that ability if things go his way," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "He is really quick for as big as he is. I did not feel like the rest of us wore down the Clippers tonight, but Paul Millsap did. He appreciated playing more minutes. He took advantage of it, and those aspects that make him better should make our team better."
Mehmet Okur scored 16 points and Andrei Kirilenko had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz (3-0), who outrebounded the Clippers 44-38 and went 25-of-31 from the foul line while the Clippers were just 9-of-20.
Los Angeles was 6-of-19 from 3-point range while the Jazz missed all 10 of their attempts from beyond the arc, but it hardly mattered.
The Jazz played without star point guard Deron Williams, sidelined with a sprained left ankle. He hopes to play for the first time this season Wednesday night against Portland or Friday night against Oklahoma City.
"We play as a team," Millsap said. "That's going to win us games with or without [Williams]."
Chris Kaman led the Clippers (0-4) with 19 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. Baron Davis, returning to action after missing two games because of a sore left hip, had 14 points and nine assists. He shot just 5-of-15, including 1-of-8 in the first half.
"I didn't really feel like myself," Davis said. "They were able to make the run, and we didn't. We're a work in progress. It's going to take some patience."
Davis is one of 10 newcomers on the team this season. Another is Marcus Camby, who had five points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots in 27 minutes in his debut with the Clippers. Camby, acquired from Denver during the offseason, sat out the preseason and the first three games of the regular season with a bruised right heel.
"We need to start building from here, getting guys minutes and getting guys playing together for really the first time," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We haven't really played together since the beginning of training camp."
Regarding Camby, Dunleavy said: "I was ecstatic from the standpoint that even though he has been out a while, he was able to come in and make some good passes and play good defensively."
The game was the second in three nights between the teams. The Jazz won 101-79 Saturday night in Utah for their 11th straight home-court victory over the Clippers, setting a franchise record with just five turnovers. They committed their sixth with 4:20 left in the second quarter of this game and finished with 10. Los Angeles committed 19 turnovers.
Sloan, whose 1,192 victories rank fourth on the NBA coaching list, was back on the bench after missing Saturday night's game because of flu-like symptoms.
Neither team led by more than seven points before Okur's basket triggered Utah's big run.
Sloan's teams in Utah have won 998 games since he became head coach early in the 1988-89 season. No NBA coach has ever won 1,000 games with one team. Sloan also coached the Chicago Bulls for 2 1/2 seasons. ... Mike Taylor, a rookie from Iowa State, had two points, two rebounds and one assist in 16 minutes in his first start for the Clippers. Portland took Taylor with the 55th overall selection in the NBA draft last June and traded him to Los Angeles. ... The Jazz also played without Matt Harpring (recovering from ankle surgery) and Jarron Collins (inflamed right elbow). ... The Clippers lost an NBA-high 321 games to injury/illness last season, and didn't have a single player appear in all 82 regular-season games. ... The Clippers missed their first five free throws before Kaman finally connected with 13 1/2 seconds left in the third quarter. By that time, the Jazz were 17-of-22 from the foul line.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||32-77 (.416)||29-72 (.403)|
|3PM-3PA||0-10 (.000)||6-19 (.316)|
|FTM-FTA||25-31 (.806)||9-20 (.450)|
|Fast Break Points||9||0|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||20 (0/0)||24 (1/0)|