Utah proved again that it won't shatter without its Defensive Player of the Year candidate in the middle, keeping contact throughout even though Paul (21 points, 10 assists), Griffin (24 points) and DeAndre Jordan (18 points, 15 rebounds) all delivered standout performances.
The Clippers dropped Game 1 of the series to the Jazz on Saturday, 97-95.
Gobert suffered a bone bruise and hyperextension in his left knee and was ruled out for Game 2 on Tuesday at Staples Center. The game is scheduled for a 10:30 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on TNT.
Raul Neto is also doubtful of play due to an ankle sprain. The Jazz now have an opportunity to host the Clippers in Utah and maintain home court advantage.
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Blake Griffin's 26 points, 7 rebounds, and three assists were gone vain as the Clippers lost game-1. The Clippers were able to weather every run that Utah made and the heady play of their point guard is a big reason why. "Our defense has to be better, our pace, our tempo, everything has to be better". Some players need to let go and they do better in that.
Utah was one of the best defensive teams in the National Basketball Association and finished second in field goal percentage allowed. This was very much a game where it looked like the Clippers were the more talented team and won as a result. Their reserves were outscored by the Jazz's 47-20. Favors finished with 15 points. Both reserves played over 31 minutes and combined to score 36 points. Blake took his turn in the second quarter, scoring nine in the paint. Charlotte point guard Kemba Walker said Griffin can be a great fit with the Hornets.
The Jazz will attempt to slow the tempo to duplicate their Game 1 success. That trick of the trade produced multiple easy looks in Game 2 and helps him punish Johnson and other smaller defenders without getting bogged down in post isolations.
Yesterday, the Clippers exploited the injury absence of Jazz big man Rudy Gobert, attacking the rim relentlessly in a 99-91 victory in which they never trailed. I don't think any of us really expected the good guys to win game one, but we had a hope of stealing it. But yeah, when we're hitting outside shots and putting pressure on teams inside, it is another level, but those games aren't always going to happen.
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Adjusting to whatever the Clippers throw at them will be crucial for the Jazz.
We got to see resilience and effort win out over star power and popular convention. We'll learn more in the next few hours for sure.
In this case, without the Stifle Tower shutting down the paint, Chris Paul put on a show. "It's going to come down a lot of times to who is the most physical and who gets the 50-50 balls". However, a meltdown proceeded and the Clippers dropped three straight games to be bounced from postseason play.
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