LOS ANGELES (AP) — Eric Gordon scored 13 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and the Los Angeles Clippers nearly blew a 17-point lead in the final 6½ minutes before beating the Utah Jazz 108-104 on Monday night.
Every Clippers starter reached double figures before the third quarter ended. Drew Gooden had 19 points and 11 rebounds, helping Los Angeles end a six-game losing streak against the Jazz. Chris Kaman added 18 points and 14 boards, and Baron Davis finished with 19 points and 12 assists.
Los Angeles has won four of its last six games after dropping its first five under interim coach Kim Hughes.
The Clippers never trailed, opening the game with a 23-9 run that included 3-pointers by Davis, Kaman and Rasual Butler, and handed the Jazz only their second wire-to-wire loss this season. The other was against Staples Center's other NBA tenant, the defending champion Lakers, who beat them 96-91 at Utah on Feb. 10 without the injured Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum.
Carlos Boozer scored 20 points for the Jazz, who were coming off their second straight 10-win month. Andrei Kirilenko, who sat out three of Utah's previous four games because of back spasms, had 13 points in 29 minutes and was 6 for 15 from the field. First-time All-Star Deron Williams missed eight of his first nine shots, finishing 5 for 15 with 13 points and 13 assists.
Gordon's fourth and final 3-pointer of the game gave Los Angeles its biggest lead, 95-78. The Jazz used a 14-2 run to cut the margin to 101-98 with 1:05 to play. Williams' three-point play got Utah as close as 103-101 with 40 seconds left, but he missed both free throws with a chance to tie it with 16 seconds on the clock, and Butler and Kaman each hit two foul shots at the other end to help the Clippers close it out.
Kyle Korver, who was born in nearby Lakewood, scored nine of his 16 points off the bench during an 11-0 run — including a four-point play — to help slice Utah's 14-point deficit to 38-35 with 5:52 left in the half.
The Jazz (38-22) have lost seven games this season by margins of four points or less. Had they won those games, they would be only one game behind the Lakers for the Western Conference lead — and just 2½ behind Cleveland for the NBA's best record. Instead, they find themselves trying to hang onto fourth place and secure home-court advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
NOTES: Boozer was named Monday as Western Conference player of the month, after averaging 21.2 points, 13.0 rebounds and 60.4 percent from the field during Utah's 13 games in February. He had 34 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and four steals in a 109-99 win over the Clippers on Feb. 9 in Los Angeles. ... Kirilenko got his 1,300th career block when he rejected a layup by DeAndre Jordan with 3:39 left in the first quarter. The only player in Jazz history with more is Mark Eaton (3,064). ... Utah coach Jerry Sloan acknowledged before the game that 15-year veteran swingman Michael Finley was worth a look, after San Antonio granted Finley's request to be released from his contract on Monday so that he could hook on with another club that would give him more playing time. Finley, who won a championship ring with the Spurs in 2007, turns 37 on Saturday. "An experienced player looks like something that would be good for our team," Sloan said. "But we've got to see what's out there — whether it's a young guy who you think might have a chance to make your team better down the road, or a veteran player with experience. It's a question we'll have to answer. Kevin (general manager Kevin O'Connor) was waiting to see what came out today and see if there was anybody out there who we had interest in. So we'll sit down and talk about that when we get back. (Finley) didn't play a lot in the games we played against the Spurs, but his background has been good."