The Utah Jazz used a strong homestand to move back into the thick of the Northwest Division race. After one road game, they're already eager to return to Salt Lake City.
Coming off a loss, the Jazz on Friday night will look to continue their domination of the Los Angeles Clippers at EnergySolutions Arena.
Utah (22-18) swept a four-game homestand from Jan. 8-14 by an average of 14.7 points, including wins over Western Conference-best Phoenix and Southeast Division-leading Orlando.
The Jazz, though, had their run snapped with a 120-109 loss to the Nuggets on Thursday and fell two games behind Northwest co-leaders Denver and Portland.
"These are the games you have to win," said Utah point guard Deron Williams, who had 23 points and 12 assists for his fourth consecutive double-double. "You have to win in your division."
The loss was Utah's 11th in its last 12 road games, dropping them to 6-15. The Jazz have countered those road struggles by going 16-3 at home, including 6-0 since Dec. 31.
They'll put their home win streak on the line against the Clippers (11-23), who are 1-30 at the former Delta Center since it opened in 1991. Los Angeles has lost eight straight in Utah since Jan. 22, 2003.
But the Clippers are coming off their most impressive victory of the season - they snapped a four-game slide with a 97-90 victory over the Suns on Tuesday.
Clippers point guard Sam Cassell was 15-of-21 from the field, and finished with 32 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
"I just made shots today," said Cassell, who averaged 5.3 points while shooting 22.6 percent (7-for-31) from the floor in his first four games this month. "I think the guys got me the ball and depended on me to make shots. I think that was the key.
"I've been taking shots I'm supposed to take, just missing them. I'm not going to stop. I'm a guy who understands how to score in this league, can score in this league."
Earlier this week, the Clippers were the only NBA team that hadn't shot 50 percent or better from the field in a game this season. Now, they've done it in consecutive games, combining to shoot 52.3 percent against Dallas and Phoenix - two of the league's elite teams.
"The last two games were as good a basketball as we've played all year long," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "I just hope we can continue to play at this level."
Clippers center Chris Kaman was 3-of-14 on Tuesday, finishing with a season low-tying nine points. Still, Kaman is averaging career-highs with 17.6 points and 13.8 rebounds.
Meanwhile, Utah's Williams is averaging 22.5 points and 11.0 assists while shooting 52.5 percent from the field during his double-double streak.
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