Though he kept his double-double streak alive at six in a row, Griffin was thoroughly outplayed by Jazz forward Paul Millsap. In fact, Millsap all but shut down Griffin by consistently moving him out of position and forcing him to miss chippies. For only the second time this season, Griffin shot worse than 50 percent from the field and didn't look involved in a disappointing effort.
The Clippers clearly miss Paul's playmaking ability and leadership. Chauncey Billups, Randy Foye and Courtney Fortson are nowhere near the facilitator Paul is, and it showed as the Clippers' offense stagnated -- turning the ball over frequently and settling for long jumpers. If CP3 doesn't return Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks, the Clippers will be in for another long night.
Billups tried his best Chris Paul impression for the second game in a row, but once again could not fill the superstar's shoes. He took suspect shots, struggled from the field (which has become a normality), and couldn't keep up with Devin Harris. Although he's the best available point guard option, Billups can't control a game like he used to.
The Clippers couldn't have played any worse tonight. They force-fed the Jazz's fast-breaking opportunities by telegraphing passes, taking long-range jumpers (with long-range misses) and not getting back in transition. Utah isn't even a fast-paced team, but it couldn't turn down the high percentage of wide-open layups and dunks that the Clippers gave it.
The Jazz easily played their best game of the season, leading from end to end. Utah controlled the pace, ran its sets, played lock-down defense and made key plays to prevent a Clippers run. The Jazz's record is no fluke -- they're big, deep (six players in double-figures, including three off the bench) and athletic. As they proved tonight, Utah is a tough place to play.