for this game

Jazz look to snap rare home skid

Apr 13, 2009 - 5:42 AM By Anthony Giornalista Stats Senior Writer

LA Clippers (19-61) at Utah (47-33), 9:00 p.m. EDT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A playoff matchup with the Western Conference's top team likely awaits the Utah Jazz. That would be the consequence of poor play against some of the league's worst clubs.

The Jazz, in danger of losing three straight home games against lottery-bound teams, look to win their 12th straight at EnergySolutions Arena against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.

With two games left, Utah (47-33) appears headed for an eighth-place finish in the West and a first-round playoff series with the conference champion Los Angeles Lakers. The Jazz will need to win out and get help from either New Orleans or Dallas in order to move up the standings.

Utah, having lost three straight and six of seven, has only itself to blame for the position it's in.

The Jazz's struggles at home have been particularly perplexing. After winning 15 straight at EnergySolutions Arena, they've lost to Minnesota and Golden State in their last two contests there.

"This is bad," Utah point guard Deron Williams said. "I just don't know what's going on right now with us. We're just limping into the playoffs. It's like we're kind of content with being there and being the eighth seed instead of trying to better ourselves."

A loss to the Clippers (19-61) would give the Jazz three straight home defeats for the first time since April 2007. This matchup, though, gives Utah an outstanding chance to get back on track, having won 37 of its last 38 home games against Los Angeles - the lone win for the Clippers was a 96-89 victory on Jan. 22, 2003.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, has lost 13 of 14 on the road, allowing 110.3 points per game.

Utah also has struggled defensively, giving up an average of 111.6 points in its last eight contests after holding four of its previous five opponents under 100.

The Jazz allowed the Warriors to shoot 54.8 percent in a 118-108 loss Saturday night even though Golden State had only seven players available due to injuries.

Utah wasted a strong performance from Williams, who posted 26 points and 14 assists. He missed each of the Jazz's first two meetings with the Clippers this season due to an ankle injury.

Williams will be matched up with Clippers veteran Baron Davis, whose average of 15.2 points is his lowest since finishing with 13.8 in 2000-01. He was held to 12 points in Los Angeles' 87-82 loss to Portland on Saturday night.

Zach Randolph returned after serving a two-game suspension because of a suspected DUI conviction, but he finished with 13 points - more than seven below his season average - on 6-for-18 shooting as the Clippers lost for the seventh time in eight games.

Randolph, acquired in a trade with New York on Nov. 21, had 25 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Knicks to a 107-99 win over the Jazz on Nov. 9. The veteran big man is averaging 25.9 points in his last seven games versus Utah.

The Jazz are 2-0 against the Clippers this season, holding them to 76.0 points per game.

Utah will wrap up the regular season Tuesday night against the Lakers, while the Clippers finish their season the following evening against Oklahoma City.