Jazz upset Clippers 110-109, giving LA 1st-round home-court advantage and 4th seed.

Los Angeles — After Los Angeles secured the fourth Western seed, the Utah Jazz defeated the Clippers 110-109 on Friday with a season-high 27 points from reserve Kenneth Lofton Jr.  

Amir Coffey scored 16 and Bones Hyland 20 for the Clippers. Before tipoff, Dallas' loss to Detroit secured the Clippers' seeding and placed the Mavericks in fifth. Mavs and Clippers will play in the first round for the third time in five years.  

Getting the fourth seed in a tough conference — you got four teams that won 50 games — it means a lot to have the first round homecourt advantage,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “Winning our (Pacific) division for the first time in 10 years says a lot about persevering  

After missing his eighth straight game with right knee soreness, Clippers star Kawhi Leonard is expected return next weekend for the playoffs. “Hopefully, he will play,” Lue added. “That’s what we want.”

The Clippers beat Denver, Utah, Cleveland, and Phoenix after Leonard's injury. To win four games in a row against excellent teams without Kawhi demonstrates how we've improved, Lue said, “because before it was hard to win without him on the floor.”  

The Jazz won their second straight game since Feb. 4-6 despite being eliminated. They beat Houston, another eliminated team, Thursday to end a 12-game slump. The men make me proud. It's hard to win two nights straight, said Jazz coach Will Hardy. “We struggled on the road this season.”  

Paul George, who played eight minutes, and Ivica Zubac both scored 10 for the Clippers, who beat the Jazz by 29 points a week earlier. Hyland's fourth-quarter drive gave the Clippers a 105-104 advantage. The Jazz scored six straight to lead 110-105. Brandon Boston Jr.'s shot brought Los Angeles within a point with 31 seconds left. Xavier Moon missed a last-gasp 3-pointer.  

In the first half, Clippers lead 13. The Jazz led 69-60 after nine points in the third and 86-85 entering the fourth.  

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