(The Sports Xchange) - Jamal Crawford scored 30 points and hit a game-winning 3-pointer with less than a second remaining to lift the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers to a shocking 102-99 overtime victory against the Utah Jazz on Friday.
The Clippers, who’ve already clinched the No. 4 spot in the playoffs, played without the bulk of their starting lineup as Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan remained in Los Angeles for rest.
Utah, which is trying to secure a playoff appearance for the first time since 2012, couldn’t take advantage of the key Clippers’ absences thanks to a gutsy performance by the undermanned visitors.
Cole Aldrich had a huge night for the Clippers with season-highs of 21 points and 18 rebounds, while Paul Pierce and Jeff Green each chipped in 18 points.
Gordon Hayward scored 24 points to lead the Jazz, who dropped to 39-40. Rodney Hood and Shelvin Mack each scored 13.
Utah leads Houston for the final spot in the Western Conference playoffs by one game with three games remaining.
Alec Burks played for the Jazz for the first time since suffering a broken left fibula against the Clippers on Dec. 26. He scored 11 points.
Utah rallied out of a 10-point deficit to take a seven-point lead late in the fourth quarter before the Clippers surged to force overtime.
Aldrich tied the game with a putback bucket off of his own miss with two seconds remaining in regulation. The Jazz’s last-second attempt by Hayward was off.
The Jazz had a chance to go ahead near the end of overtime, but a Hood shot was off.
The Clippers milked all but 0.2 of the final 22 seconds, and Crawford delivered a dagger from beyond the arc.
The Clippers held a six-point lead after Pablo Prigioni’s bucket with 6:48 in the fourth quarter.
By the time Los Angeles took a timeout at the 5:45 mark, the Jazz enjoyed a four-point lead.
The 10-0 spurt began when Mack was fouled well behind the 3-point line. He sank all three free throws and added one more after Clippers coach Doc Rivers received a technical foul.
Mack and Hood followed that with 3-pointers.
The streak continued after the timeout with a Joe Ingles steal and dunk and a free throw by Hayward after Prigioni was assessed a technical foul for a 92-85 lead.
Green ended the Clippers’ four-plus minute scoreless drought with a 3-pointer at the 2:12 mark to spark Los Angeles’ late rally.
The Clippers used a 13-0 run in the third quarter to take their biggest lead at 68-58. Crawford had eight points in that spurt.
Utah managed to cut the deficit to four by the end of the quarter thanks in part to a last-second 3-pointer by Hayward.