Jazz Lose Rudy Gobert, Beat Clippers Anyway on Joe Johnson Buzzer-Beater

On the first play of the game, the Jazz lost potential Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to a knee injury. Johnson then coolly dribbled down the floor, worked his way inside, and hit the running floater to give the Jazz the win.

Doc Rivers, tie loose and jacket off, scrunched up his face as a reporter quizzed him about LA's late-game strategy. The Jazz haven't given a timetable for his return, but Gobert will not play in Game 2. Well, this 4-5 matchup is officially underway-the Jazz took back home court advantage but how they deal with not having their MVP center remains to be seen. "I think there is a problem with overreacting to a loss".

The Jazz were terrifically prepared before the game and adjusted in the game even better.

Rudy Gobert's injury changes this series. "We wanted the ball to go to Joe, in his hands, and we got a switch, and like he said, there's a lot of ways to cut that". For the Clippers it was yet another disappointment for a team who has struggled (to say the least) during playoff time. Without Gobert, Utah turned to a smaller lineup built around Derrick Favors in the middle, a look that succeeded in beating the Clippers' help defense with well-timed drives and passes. On/off numbers can serve as a helpful stat, painting a picture of how teams perform with players on the court and when they sit. "I remember being down 0-2 and then we win Game 3 and it looks like we're getting some momentum, and then the Rodney King riots started", said Rivers, who spent one season with the Clippers as a player.

The Jazz now have the lead in their first-round series versus the Clippers. And yes, all the momentum and confidence built during their season-ending seven-game winning streak has vanished. Initially diagnosed as a sprain, Gobert underwent an MRI and the result was indeed a relief: It was ruled a hyperextension. If the Clippers seemed remarkably at peace the morning after their stunning 98-96 loss in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against Utah, it's for one simple reason. We've lost a first game and won a series (Golden State, 2014).

Chris Paul is awesome. Joe played on fellow sharp-shooter J.J. Redick for most of the night and completely nullified him in all facets of the game. Both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin can bolt in the summer, and probably will. Doc Rivers has failed to built this franchise into a contender and make it past the conference semifinals.

"I thought Joe Ingles had a great defensive game tonight".

  • Julie Sanders