Clippers hold off Jazz 96-94

Clippers hold off Jazz 96-94

LOS ANGELES (AP) Blake Griffin scored 11 of his 23 points in the third quarter, Jamal Crawford got 12 of his 18 points in the fourth and DeAndre Jordan added 16 rebounds and 11 points, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 96-94 preseason victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

Chris Paul had six points and nine assists in his second game back after undergoing surgery on his right thumb in August. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro rested all of his starters throughout the fourth quarter and didn't play Grant Hill and Lamar Odom at all in the team's first game back from an eight-day, two-game trip to China.

Former Clippers guard Randy Foye had 17 points for the Jazz, coming off back-to-back wins over the Lakers by a combined margin of 47 points.

Jamaal Tinsley started again at point guard in place of the injured Mo Williams and played 22 scoreless minutes with seven assists. Williams sat out his second straight game because of a groin strain, and swingman Derrick Favors did not play because of a bruised right knee.

Trailing 48-33 late in the first half, the Clippers went on a 21-5 spurt to grab a 66-62 lead in the final minute of the third. Willie Green, starting at shooting guard for the injured Chauncey Billups, put Los Angeles ahead 62-61 on a 3-pointer with 2:46 left in the quarter.

The Clippers built their margin to 83-72 on a layup and a pair of free throws by Eric Bledsoe with 6:45 to play. Utah tied it 92-all on a 3-pointer by Alec Burks that capped a 20-9 run with a minute to play. But Crawford responded with a three-point play off a layup, putting the Clippers ahead for good.

Foye's attempt at a tying layup was swatted out of bounds by Ryan Hollins with 5.2 seconds left, and Foye missed a 20-footer from the left of the key as time expired.

Foye, the first player off the Utah bench in his Staples Center homecoming, received a warm greeting from the crowd of 14,617 when he reported in late in the opening period and responded with a pair of 3-pointers less than 2 minutes apart to help the Jazz maintain a slim lead.

NOTES: Billups, whose 2011-12 season ended in February because of a torn left Achilles tendon that required surgery, isn't expected to return to the lineup anytime soon. Del Negro said he will require another two weeks of practices and a full-contact scrimmage before the club can get a more accurate read on his status. ... The Clippers and Jazz begin their four-game season series Dec. 3 at Staples Center.

Quick Links

Caps recall goalie Pheonix Copley after Braden Holtby 'tweaked something' in Dallas game


Caps recall goalie Pheonix Copley after Braden Holtby 'tweaked something' in Dallas game

You thought the Caps had a goalie rotation before, but now they have added a third netminder in the mix.

Pheonix Copley has been recalled from the Hershey Bears and will backup Philipp Grubauer for Washington's game in Detroit, the team announced Thursday.

The move comes in response to an injury concern for Braden Holtby.


Dallas Stars forward Remi Elie collided with Holtby midway through the third period on Tuesday as Holtby was extending to make a save. Holtby reacted awkwardly to the collision and could be seen skating and flexing his leg during the next stoppage.

With only nine games remaining in the regular season, Holtby's injury is a major concern. Given his recent struggles, the final few weeks of the season offered a chance for Holtby to get his game back to form. Just where his game will be when he is 100-percent healthy again is certainly a storyline to watch.


The good news for Washington, however, is that Grubauer is perhaps more ready this season to lead the team than he ever has been and confidence in him around the team should be high.

Since Thanksgiving, Grubauer has played in 22 games with a 17-11-4 record, a .939 save percentage, 1.85 GAA and two shutouts. No goalie who has played in 20 games or more has registered a better save percentage or GAA. He will certainly be looked upon to carry the load until Holtby returns. Whether this means he now has the inside track on starting in the playoffs, however, remains to be seen. That will depend largely on just when Holtby is ready to return and how Grubauer plays down the stretch.

Copley, 26, has gone 14-16-6 with two shutouts, a .898 save percentage and 2.86 GAA in 38 games in Hershey this season. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Washington in 2014. He was traded to the St. Louis Blues in the package that netted the Caps T.J. Oshie, but was reacquired by Washington in Feb. 2017 in a trade deadline deal that included Kevin Shattenkirk.

At the time, it was believed Copley would be the team's backup for the 2017-18 season with Grubauer likely headed to Vegas in the expansion draft. Vegas, however, took Nate Schmidt instead which led to Copley spending the season in Hershey. The Caps now will be happy for the extra goalie depth for as long as Holtby's health remains a concern.

Quick Links

Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

This weekend was already going to be special for Washington Wizards fans. Now they will get souvenirs to remember it.

As part of their celebration of Phil Chenier's legendary career and the 40th anniversary of their 1978 NBA championship, the Wizards are handing out emoji signs on Friday night and commemorative t-shirts on Sunday. All fans in attendance will receive a giveaway.


The emoji sign has Chenier's face on it and will be handed out for the March 23 game against the Nuggets. Chenier will have his jersey retired at halftime during the game. 

The emoji sign is presented by NBC Sports Washington. You're welcome, Authentic Fans.


The shirts will be given out on Sunday when the Wizards host the New York Knicks. 

Here's the front...

And the back...

Let's take a closer look at that back...

As a reporter who has received many giveaways over the years at pro sports stadiums, these are uniquely awesome. Should be a great weekend for Wizards fans. See you at the arena.


NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!