Clippers embark on long road trip, starting in Utah

( - The Los Angeles Clippers will begin an eight-game journey Wednesday against the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City.

The Clippers will also visit New Orleans, San Antonio, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Toronto, Oklahoma City and Dallas, and have won three in a row on the road. They are 11-7 as the visitor this season.

Los Angeles has ripped off five straight wins and 11 in the last 14 tries, and is coming off Monday's 102-98 victory over the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center. Jamal Crawford scored 23 points off the bench, Matt Barnes added 18 and Chris Paul ended with 15 points and eight assists.

"He was huge," Clippers forward Blake Griffin said of Crawford. "His scoring was unbelievable and it can come in a flash. That's what he does for us."

Griffin almost recorded a triple-double, compiling 14 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for the Clippers, who made 47.5 percent for the game and used a 33-21 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter. The Clippers and Nuggets alternated 30-point quarters and Los Angeles squeezed out the victory.

Denver was up 31-20 after 12 minutes, then the Clippers scored 30 of the 46 points in the second quarter. The Nuggets grabbed the upper hand with a 30-19 third period, but the Clippers had the last laugh.

The Clippers have scored 100 or more points in each of the last seven games and are fourth in the NBA with 107.3 ppg.

Barnes is questionable Wednesday with an abdominal injury and was fined $25,000 Tuesday for directing inappropriate language toward a fan during Sunday's win over the Phoenix Suns. This is Barnes' second $25,000 fine this season. He was also punished for kicking a water bottle into the stands and directing foul language at fans in a loss to the Wizards on Dec. 12.

Utah will resume a four-game homestand Wednesday and is 1-1 on the stay. It opened the residency with a 108-73 thrashing of the Brooklyn Nets last weekend and sustained a 99-90 setback to the Boston Celtics Monday night.

Gordon Hayward led all scorers with 26 points, Enes Kanter added 20 and Trey Burke netted 18 in a reserve role. The Jazz, who managed only 31 points in the first half, had 16 turnovers, shot 42.7 percent from the field and lost for the sixth time in nine tries.

"I think it's one of those problems that permeates everything," Jazz head coach Quin Snyder of his team's first-half problems. "We didn't play hard. Maybe it's a little more complicated than that. Nothing we did was with any force. So they just knocked us back offensively."

The Jazz, who have a 7-16 mark against teams from the West, are 8-13 in Salt Lake City and will close the homestand Friday versus the NBA-best Golden State Warriors.

Utah has lost the first three meetings with the Clippers this season and is winless in the previous 12 encounters between the teams. LA is undefeated in five straight at the Jazz.