Jazz at Clippers Expert NBA Pick

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DATE – Wednesday Nov. 25

TIME – 10:30 p.m. Eastern

TV – ROOT and FSW2



1/28/15 – Clippers (-6.5) 94, at Jazz 89

12/29/14 – at Clippers (-12) 101, Jazz 97

11/29/14- Clippers (-5) 112, at Jazz 96

11/3/14 – at Clippers (-9.5) 107, Jazz 101

3/14/14 – Clippers (-9) 96, at Jazz 87


Utah has battled through a tough early season schedule, where it played eight of its first 10 games on the road, and still managed to climb above .500. And even though Los Angeles has dominated the Jazz-Clippers series in recent years, Utah figures to give the Clippers its toughest test recently in this series in Wednesday's game.


The Jazz and Clippers will play in Los Angeles at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Wednesday in a regionally televised game. Los Angeles has won 13 in a row in the Jazz-Clippers series, and Utah has not been favored in a game in this series since January 2012. Still, the Jazz are playing as well in the early part of the 2015-16 season as they have since 2012, so they will have a chance to end the losing streak against the LA Clippers.


Utah has ridden a balanced scoring attack to its good start to the season. Utah will have five double-figure scorers going into the Jazz-Clippers contest. Derrick Favors, Alec Burks, and Gordon Hayward all are averaging around 16 points per game for Utah.


The LA Clippers are off to a strong start as well behind all-star Blake Griffin, who ranks among the top five scorers in the NBA through the first month of the season at around 26.5 points per game. And Chris Paul ranks among the top five in the league in assists per game at 8.0 through the first month. DeAndre Jordan of Los Angeles leads the NBA in shooting percentage through the first dozen games at 71.4 percent.


Los Angeles has needed that strong offensive performance thus far this season, as the Clippers scoring defense has ranked in the bottom quartile of the NBA in the first month of the season at just over 104 points allowed per game. Despite the tough defensive start, the Clippers managed to win six of their first 10 games by scoring at least 100 points nine times in that stretch. And the Clippers gave Golden State, which started 12-0, one of its toughest games in a 112-108 loss in early November. LA will play Golden State again before the Jazz-Clippers game.


Utah has had one of the NBA's best defenses through the early part of the season, ranking in the top five in the league in defensive scoring at about 91.5 points per game allowed. Entering the Jazz-Clippers game, the Utah defense also is ranked in the top quartile of the NBA in opponents' turnovers and in opponents' field goal percentage. Los Angeles meanwhile has one of the NBA's top five offensive field goal shooting percentages behind Griffin's and Jordan's strong play in the paint, so the match of Utah's interior defense against Griffin and Jordan should be a highlight of the Jazz-Clippers contest.

The LA Clippers had one of the NBA's best records last season at 56-26, reaching the Western Conference semifinals before losing to Houston in seven games. It was the third time in four seasons Los Angeles fell in the conference semifinals.


Wednesday's Jazz-Clippers game will be the first of three meetings between the two teams this season, and it will mark the only time the Jazz will travel to play the Clippers this season. The Clippers will be in Salt Lake City for games on Dec. 26 and April 8.


Even with its 13-game losing streak in the series, Utah leads the all-time Jazz-Clippers series, 98-72. The Jazz and Clippers have met in two playoff series, with Utah winning both first round Western Conference series in 1992 and 1997.