for this game

Maggette, Thornton help Clippers slow down Jazz

Feb 23, 2008 - 7:46 AM By Jonathan Raber PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Clippers looked like they still had plenty to play for.

Corey Maggette and Al Thornton each finished with 27 points as the Clippers won consecutive games for the first time in over three months with a 114-104 victory over the surging Utah Jazz on Friday.

"We have nothing to lose," Maggette said. "We really need to just continue to go out there and play as loose as possible and play the defense that our team has been playing and go from there.

"I think we've been doing that. The last three games we have been playing better. Hopefully, (Elton Brand) will be back soon and Shaun (Livingston) will give us a boost, and we will go from there."

The Clippers hadn't strung together two in a row since going 4-0 to start the season. They had alternated wins and losses in their last eight contests.

"I'm glad it happened, now we have to try and go for three in a row," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said.

Chris Kaman and Cuttino Mobley each added 14 points for Los Angeles, which beat one of the league's hottest teams.

"We had a chance to pick up a game (in the standings)," said Utah point guard Deron Williams, whose team holds a narrow lead in the Northwest Division. "We've been waiting for Denver to lose because they've been pretty hot, and when they finally do, we don't make the most of it."

Utah entered the game having won 13 of their last 14 contests, including a stretch of 10 straight.

But the Clippers came out scorching in the third quarter to cool down the Jazz.

Nursing a six-point lead at the half, the Clippers went to Maggette and Tim Thomas, who connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to help spark an 11-0 run which made it 70-54.

Even little-used guard Dan Dickau got involved in the action, knocking in a 3-pointer from the top of the key as the Clippers hit 12-of-19 shots in the quarter to give themselves a 20-point lead heading into the fourth.

"We didn't play good enough defense and we gave up shots," Utah forward Carlos Boozer said. "They did a good job attacking us against the line, and we didn't do a good job stopping them."

Thornton, who had been starting in recent games, came off the bench to score 14 of his points in the fourth to keep the Jazz at bay.

"I just feel good out there," Thornton said. "I think my teammates know how I play, and they have been able to get me the ball in areas where they feel like I can execute."

Williams had 26 points and 10 assists and Boozer pitched in 22 and 10 to lead the Jazz, who had won the previous two meetings between the teams by an average of 17.0 points.