Jazz vs. Clippers: Utah visits L.A. in potential playoff preview

USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz have won three games in a row heading into their showdown with the Clippers on Saturday night.

The Los Angeles Clippers will attempt to rebound from a 26-point loss to the San Antonio Spurs last Thursday when they host the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center on Saturday night.

The Clippers are 2-0 versus the Jazz this season after sweeping a back-to-back home-and-home series versus Utah on Dec. 28 and 30 to drop the Jazz to 15-17 on the year. The Jazz have gone 16-7 since those losses to improve to 31-24 on the year and are currently in seventh place in the Western Conference standings.

The Jazz enter the game having won three games in a row, two of which came against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors who are both potential playoff opponents for the Jazz.

The Clippers are currently in third place in the Western Conference standings and trail the Thunder by just two games for the second seed. Utah trails Golden State by just one game for the sixth seed, which could potentially setup a first round playoff series with Clippers this spring.

Al Jefferson leads the Jazz, averaging 17.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game and is complemented by Paul Millsap who is averaging 15.0 points and 7.4 rebounds. Both Jefferrson and Millsap are unrestricted free agents this summer and were not dealt before Thursday's trade deadline despite the rumors surrounding them.

The Los Angeles Clippers enter the game looking to rebound after a 116-90 loss to the Spurs last Thursday which raised concerns about their ability to compete against Oklahoma City and San Antonio in the Western Conference playoffs this season.

Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said he's treating the game versus the Jazz as a reset point for the team and believes that they will begin the true second half of their season on Saturday, according to Arash Markazi of ESPN LA.

The Jazz will tip off against the Clippers at 10:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

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