for this game

Jazz, sans Willliams, host struggling Clippers

Nov 1, 2008 - 10:41 AM LA Clippers (0-2) at Utah (1-0), 9:00pm EDT

SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- Deron Williams will be back within the next week. Until then, the Utah Jazz will have to make do without their star point guard.

After escaping with a 98-94 win over the Denver Nuggets in their season opener, the Jazz will try to keep their heads above water without their best player as they face the Los Angeles Clippers in a home-and-home set. The series tips off on Saturday in Salt Lake City.

Naturally, the Jazz's high-powered offense - which was fifth in the league in scoring last season - hasn't rounded into shape. In Williams' absence, the bulk of the responsibility to fill his shoes fell on Ronnie Price, who only took over as the team's backup midway through last season.

In his fifth career start Wednesday, he struggled to find his own shooting rhythm but found just enough options elsewhere. Carlos Boozer registered a double-double with 25 points and 14 boards and Andrei Kirilenko added 16 off the bench, making up for Price's 1-for-9 shooting night.

Price and Brevin Knight - acquired this summer in a deal that sent Jason Hart back to the Clippers - shared the bulk of the load running the offense, with Kirilenko periodically running the point as well. The Jazz will likely have to rely on that dynamic for both of their next two games, with the target date for Williams' return set at November 5 against the Portland Trail Blazers.

At the least, the Jazz have the benefit of playing a struggling Clippers club that may also be shorthanded. Aside from losing both of their games, they have also had trouble keeping their prized offseason acquisitions on the court. Center Marcus Camby, who Los Angeles picked up this summer from the Denver Nuggets, is battling a bruised right heel that has kept him out since the beginning of the preseason.

And free-agent pickup Baron Davis went down with a bruised tailbone in the second quarter of the Clippers' 113-103 loss to the Nuggets on Friday, leaving his status uncertain for this weekend.

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