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The Utah Jazz hope to rebound after two straight uncharacteristic defensive performances when they host the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night. The Jazz lead the league in scoring defense (96.0) despite surrendering 112 in overtime loss against Dallas on Thursday and letting the Boston Celtics shoot 59.2 percent in a 112-104 setback on Saturday.
Leading scorer Gordon Hayward – who scored at least 30 for the fourth time in five games – told reporters that it was a matter of execution Saturday for Utah, which owns a half-game lead on the Clippers for fourth place in the Western Conference. Los Angeles has had its own problems since sprinting to a 14-2 start – in part due to injuries – but is managing just a .500 record since (19-19) despite showing signs of life by winning the last two games. The Clippers knocked off the struggling New York Knicks before finding a way past Charlotte 107-102 on Saturday to even their record (2-2) going into the finale of a five-game road trip. Point guard Chris Paul (thumb) is still weeks away from returning and Los Angeles is 6-12 without him in the lineup, but the Clippers won 16 of the last 17 against the Jazz.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), ROOT (Utah)
LINE HISTORY: The Jazz opened as seven-point home favorites and the total hit the board at 206.5. During the overnight hours the point spread was dropped slightly to -6.5. Check out the complete line history here.
Clippers – PG C. Paul (Mid March, thumb), PF B. Johnson (Out Indefinitely, back).
Jazz – SG R. Hood (Late Feb, knee).
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Clippers (-6.7) – Jazz (-8.7) + home court (-3) = Jazz -5
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (33-21 SU, 27-27 ATS, 31-23 O/U): Los Angeles got some strong play from its bench in the win over Charlotte and veteran guard Jamal Crawford led the way with 22 points, going 5-of-8 from behind the arc. “Since I’ve been here for five years, there are times and moments in the game where sometimes you have to be a little more aggressive to weather whatever storm it might be,” Crawford told reporters after improving his average to 20 points over the last five games. Leading scorer Blake Griffin (21.9) is averaging 26.8 points and 9.3 rebounds in six games during February.
ABOUT THE JAZZ (34-21 SU, 24-30-1 ATS, 28-27 O/U): Point guard George Hill and center Rudy Gobert have each stepped up to support Hayward with swingman Rodney Hood (knee) sitting out the last five contests. Hill is averaging 22 points over his last four outings to push his season mark to 17.9 while Gobert boasts three straight double-doubles and led the league in blocks (2.51) entering Sunday’s games. Forward Derrick Favors, who averaged a career-high 16.4 points last season, is still trying to find his consistency after managing just 12 combined in the last contests – dropping to 9.3 per game.
* Clippers are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games playing on 1 day of rest.
* Jazz are 2-14 ATS in their last 16 vs. Western Conference.
* Over is 10-1 in Clippers last 11 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Over is 5-0 in Jazz last 5 overall.
* Over is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in Utah.
Check out a complete list of hot and cold trends, here.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 64 percent of Covers users are siding with the road underdog L.A. Clippers and Over is picking up 52 percent of the totals wagers. View full consensus data here.
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