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Clippers 102, Jazz 93, OT

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LOS ANGELES — Healthy or not, Elton Brand was determined to get back on the court after missing two games because of a sore right hip.

Brand scored six of his 35 points in overtime and had 14 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers knocked the Utah Jazz out of first place in the Northwest Division with a 102-93 victory Monday.

Not knowing when — or if — Corey Maggette would play again because of a separated ligament in his left foot, Brand couldn't wait any longer.

"It's tough dealing with injuries, especially Corey Maggette's, so you have to step up and play," Brand said. "It's not 100 percent, but I didn't want to let the team down. The team stepped up and won two games without me against sub .500 teams. So I felt, as long as they let me, I'm going to play through it."

Sam Cassell had 25 points, seven rebounds and eight assists for the Clippers, who have won three straight after losing nine of 12. They made their first 26 free throws and finished 36-for-41 from the line.

"That's the key to our team right there," said Cassell, who hit a pair of mid-range jumpers and a 20-footer in OT. "We consider ourselves one of the top free throw shooting teams in the league. You can't play on our team if you can't make free throws in the fourth quarter. Everybody has to make free throws down the stretch, and right now we've been doing that."

Mehmet Okur scored 19 points and Gordan Giricek added 17 for the Jazz, whose bench outscored the Clippers' reserves 36-8. Andrei Kirilenko had 17 points and 12 rebounds, but Utah lost its second straight after winning eight of nine.

"We just couldn't do anything with them in overtime," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "I can understand guys missing shots, but I don't understand not being able to block them off the boards and give them second shots while we're trying to win a ballgame. They got to the free throw line and we didn't. That was the difference in the game."

Greg Ostertag fouled out 27 seconds into overtime on Brand's driving layup, which triggered a 9-2 spurt that gave the Clippers a 96-89 lead with 2:03 to play.

"They're aggressive, so we wanted to go hard at them, get to the line and knock down our free throws so that we'd be in a position to win the game," Brand said. "I knew Ostertag had five fouls, so I really wanted to attack him because he clogs that middle up, gets those tip-ins and gets extra possessions for them."

The matinee matchup got off to an ugly start, with Utah missing 11 of its first 12 shots and the Clippers six of their first seven. The Jazz trailed by as many as 12 points in the first quarter before Mehmet Okur's two free throws capped a 12-2 run and put them ahead 76-74 with 7:41 to play. It was Utah's first lead since Okur scored the game's first basket.

After Matt Harpring's layup gave the Jazz an 87-83 margin with 1:03 left in regulation, the Clippers tied it with a layup by Cuttino Mobley and two free throws by Brand — who was 15-for-17 from the line. Utah inbounded with 19 seconds left after a timeout, and Kirilenko missed an off-balance 6-footer from the right baseline with 1.9 seconds on the clock.

"We didn't do anything in the fourth quarter, as far as executing our offense," Ostertag said. "I think we took nine shots, and eight of them were jump shots. We only took one shot closer than 15 feet."

The Clippers, who came in with an NBA-leading free throw percentage of 79.8, converted all 17 free throws in the first half and got double-digit scoring from four of their starters en route to a 46-38 lead at intermission. Brand scored the last six points of the half after Utah narrowed a 12-point deficit to two on Milt Palacio's layup with 1 1-2 minutes left in the second quarter.

Notes: The Clippers, who beat Utah 94-85 in the previous meeting last April, have consecutive wins over the Jazz for the first time since November 1987. ... Utah is 116-86 since John Stockton and Karl Malone departed following the 2002-03 season. The Jazz (19-19) haven't had a losing record since 1982-83, when they were 30-52 under Frank Layden. ... The Clippers have made 11 coaching changes since Sloan took over as Jazz coach in December 1988. ... The Jazz, who came in averaging a league-worst 26 fouls, had 29 against the Clippers. Okur also fouled out in the overtime. ... The Clippers have held Utah under 100 points in each of the last 14 meetings, winning five of them.