April 25, 2017
The Jazz shoved the Clippers to the bring of elimination of Tuesday night at Staples Center with a 96-92 victory in game 5 of their 1st round series. The Jazz have taken a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Gordon Hayward scored 27 points, Rodney Hood had 14, and Joe Johnson had a clutch 14 as Utah won it’s 2nd game on the road in the series.
Chris Paul tried to keep the Clippers in it with his 28 points and 9 assists, but it wasn’t enough. JJ Reddick also scored 26 for LA.
Neither team shot the ball well. The Jazz shot 43% and the Clippers only 42%. However, Utah dominated a number of other important categories.
The Jazz outscored the Clippers 34-28 in the paint, and outrebounded them 43-34. Utah’s bench also outscored LA 36-16, in what has become a familiar pattern in the series.
Utah took the game’s first double-digit lead early in the fourth on a 3-pointer by Hood that made it 69-58.
The Clippers rallied from an 11-point deficit to tie the game, but they could never take the lead. The Jazz countered with 8 straight points caped by Hayward’s 3-pointer.
Paul and Hayward were called for double technical fouls with 40 seconds to go. Paul had already pushed Hayward in the back after they got tied up scrambling for a rebound in front of Utah’s bench. Hayward made both shots for a 90-85 lead.
Joe Johnson’s step back jumper extended Utah’s lead to 92-87. That put the game out of reach, as the Clippers could never recover. Blake Griffin watched from the bench with his right foot encased in a black walking boot.
The Jazz will try to close things out on Friday night in Salt Lake City. A victory for Utah would send the Clippers home, and vault the Jazz into the 2nd round against the Warriors.