Life without Blake Griffin starts with Game 4

The Los Angeles Clippers took a 2-1 lead over the Utah Jazz in their first-round National Basketball Association playoff series on Friday and will look to push the Jazz to the brink of elimination with a win in Game 4 on Sunday. Griffin, an unrestricted free agent this summer, has been ruled of the remainder of the 2017 NBA Playoffs and there's uncertainty over the future of the five-time All-Star. He averaged 26.3 points in the first three games of the series against the Clippers, including a 40-point performance in Game 3. Now, the Clippers have a 2-1 series lead over the Utah Jazz and will look to Chris Paul to carry this team to the second round where they will face the victor of the Golden State and Portland matchup.

The Clippers led 87-80 when Johnson, whose buzzer-beater in Game 1 beat the Clippers, knocked down a seemingly harmless jumper. But the series of events that led to a dispiriting playoff loss Sunday night were beyond articulation.

Game Five is on Tuesday in Los Angeles. And yet, the belief was once they got into the postseason, this team could have one more run to see where they matched up against the best in the league. "We knew this is who he is and he knows it's playoff time".

Snyder said other players need to step up to take the pressure away in those situations. Rivers said they'll play both big - with Marreese Speights and DeAndre Jordan - and small for stretches. "You just hate for dumb stuff like this to happen when you know how hard somebody works. Just right now, there isn't". "It's tough (to lose Blake).as much as me and big fella have been together".

If the Jazz are able to come out firing on all cylinders and get the already amped up crowed roaring from the get-go, it's likely going to give the team an incredible amount of momentum that they can use to control the game and play with confidence throughout the 48-minute bout. The Jazz went almost 4 1/2 minutes without scoring a point, opening the door for a Clippers run.

"We had a good meeting with Blake in there", Rivers said. The forward's medical history could make the Clippers think twice about awarding him a maximum contract. Rudy Gobert has been sidelined for all except 17 seconds of the series after hyperextending a knee and suffering a bone bruise on the opening possession of Game 1.

  • Julie Sanders