Butler, Crawford star as Clippers pad winning streak to 17

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Caron Butler scored 29 points and Jamal Crawford waxed hot in the fourth period as the Los Angeles Clippers downed the Utah Jazz, 107-96, to extend their franchise-best winning streak to 17 Saturday at Staples Center.

Butler made 10 of 14 shots, including six triples, while Crawford unleashed 11 of his 19 points off the bench in the final canto to help the Clippers complete December with an undefeated record of 16-0 and achieve the league’s best record at 25-6.

They joined the 1995-96 San Antonio Spurs and the 1971-72 Lakers as the only teams to finish a month with an unblemished record.

Chris Paul added 19 points and issues nine assists while DeAndre Jordan had 14 points, six rebounds and three blocks for the Clippers, who won despite getting just seven points from foul-plagued Blake Griffin.

Al Jefferson scored 30 points, Gordon Hayward added 16 points, Derrick Favors had 11 and Randy Foye tallied 10 for the Jazz, who lost their third straight game and dropped to 15-17.

Veteran playmaker Jamaal Tinsley started in place of injured Mo Williams, scoring eight points and issuing 11 assists. Williams did not play due to a severely sprained right thumb.

Butler scored eight straight points to give the Clippers a 71-59 lead in the third period but the Jazz, behind Jefferson and Hayward, launched a 17-4 rally to grab a 76-75 advantage, with two minutes left in the quarter.

However, the Clippers regained a 79-76 lead going into the fourth behind two foul shots by Paul and a jumper by Crawford.

In the fourth, Crawford buried a triple and a jumper to give the Clippers an 88-81 lead with 7:58 left.

A three-pointer by DeMarre Carroll put the Jazz within striking distance, 95-90, but Matt Barnes sank a three-pointer and the Clippers buried seven foul shots to seal the victory.

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