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- Utah forward Gordon Hayward didn’t have any setbacks in his first game back from a right shoulder sprain that caused him to miss 10 games, and he’ll play his usual role tonight against the Clippers at Staples Center. Hayward scored 17 points of the bench in a 115-101 victory Tuesday against the visiting Warriors, his first game since Jan. 26. Hayward scored 17 points in two games against the Clippers this season and 16 in the other. The Jazz lost all three of those December meetings. A win tonight would give the Clippers their first season sweep against the Jazz in 34 years.
- The Clippers are coming off their worst home loss of the season and can’t afford a similar lackadaisical effort with the Grizzlies just 1 ½ games back of L.A. for the third seed in the Western Conference. Clippers point guard Chris Paul was particularly bad in the 116-90 loss to the Spurs on Thursday night, finishing with four points on 1-for-6 shooting and totaling as many turnovers as assists (three). Don’t expect Paul to put together a second consecutive poor performance.
- Utah point guard Randy Foye returns to the arena where he spent the previous two seasons before signing with the Jazz in the offseason. He’s shooting a career-best 42.4 percent from 3-point range but has cooled off from long distance this month. He’s shooting 38.3 percent in February after a blistering 49.2 in January.
- Clippers forward Blake Griffin hasn’t had any trouble putting the ball through the hoop against Utah this season. He’s shooting 68.6 percent from the floor in the three games against the Jazz, taking advantage of Paul Millsap’s lack of size and Al Jefferson’s lack of mobility. Utah coach Tyrone Corbin may try his luck with Derrick Favors.
– Dan Arritt