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Clippers close gap on Jazz with home triumph

Jamal Crawford of the Los Angeles Clippers reacts after making a jump shot in the second half against the Los Angeles Lakers during the NBA game at Staples Center on December 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File / Victor Decolongon

LOS ANGELES, United States, Mar 26Jamal Crawford came off the bench to score a game-high 28 points and power the Los Angeles Clippers over Utah 108-95 Saturday to tighten their NBA playoff position fight.

The Clippers improved to 44-30, moving within one-half game of the Jazz (44-29) for fourth place in the Western Conference and clinching a playoff berth for the sixth season in a row.

The teams would be first-round playoff foes if they keep their spots with the superior record conveying a home-court edge in the series.

French center Rudy Gobert scored 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Jazz, who lost to the Clippers for the third time in four meetings so far this season and the 18th time in the team’s past 20 meetings.

Gobert also stretched his streak of games with at least one blocked shot to 41.

Blake Griffin had 15 points, Chris Paul added 14 and DeAndre Jordan grabbed 15 rebounds for the Clippers. Joe Johnson came off the bench to score 17 for the Jazz.

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