- The Washington Times - Monday, April 13, 2009

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Carlos Boozer had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and the Utah Jazz snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Los Angeles Clippers 106-85 Monday night to keep alive their slim hopes of climbing out of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

Utah closes the regular season Tuesday night on the road against the top-seeded Lakers, the team the Jazz will face in the first round of the playoffs if they can’t catch Dallas or New Orleans.

Deron Williams had 17 points and nine assists, and Paul Millsap finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz.

Marcus Camby had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, who have lost eight of nine.

It was almost an ideal night for the Jazz, who outrebounded the Clippers 50-36 and got half the help they needed when New Orleans lost to Houston, dropping the Hornets into a tie with Dallas for the No. 6 seed. The Mavericks nearly helped out Utah, too, before beating Minnesota on a last-second shot.

The Jazz are within a game of both teams, but need to win against the Lakers on Tuesday and get help to avoid a return trip to Los Angeles this weekend.

Eric Gordon scored 16 and Chris Kaman had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Clippers, who made a fleeting run early in the fourth quarter before getting put away.

The Clippers opened the fourth quarter on a 9-1 run, which would have been 10-1 but a 23-foot jumper by Mike Taylor initially called a 3-pointer was overturned on review. That was as close as Utah let this one get. Boozer hit a jumper, then tipped in a miss by Williams, and Kyle Korver followed with a 3-pointer to put the Jazz up 91-73 with 8:29 left in the game.

The Jazz led by 13 at halftime and slowly pulled away in the third quarter, which was a little sloppy and a lot physical.

Los Angeles’ Baron Davis knocked Matt Harpring to the court after the two had been bumping under the basket. Both players were called for fouls and Davis received a technical as well. Davis had some words for Harpring before he could get on his feet but was quickly pulled away from the crowd of players who gathered after the commotion.

Williams put Utah up 67-50 on the free throw for the technical, which Jazz fans felt was insufficient punishment. Utah fans wanted Davis to be ejected and booed him whenever he touched the ball the rest of the game.

Later in the period, Camby’s drive through the lane was abruptly halted in a collision with Jarron Collins. Collins was called for the foul and Camby needed a few moments to get up after the whistle. Both teams had eight fouls in the period, which featured 20 free throws.

Notes:@ Utah C Mehmet Okur left the game at halftime with a strained right hamstring and did not return. … Jazz fans were booing early when the Clippers scored 11 straight to pull ahead 13-8, but Utah responded with a 13-0 run after a timeout and took a 30-17 lead into the second quarter. … The Clippers were just 10-for-18 from the foul line.

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