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NBA Playoffs Round 1: Utah Jazz Slither by Los Angeles Clippers in Nail-Biter Victory

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Utah Jazz Tops Los Angeles Clippers Without Rudy Gobert 97-95

11 seconds into the game was all it took for defensive star Rudy Gobert to fall to his knees with an apparent leg injury.

He was unable to get up without the aid of his teammates and was carried off to the locker room. Gobert was diagnosed with a hyperextended knee and a bone bruise. Ouch.

However, that didn’t stop the Jazz, as Joe Johnson buried a shot in the final seconds of the game to give Utah an edge over LA.

If it had not been for Chris Paul’s skill and athleticism, scoring 10 straight points in the fourth quarter, the Jazz would have gotten away under Gordon Hayward’s and Johnson’s scoring.

If the Clippers are to lose this series it could be an end of an era for their team, as they consecutively failed to make it past the first round. Especially if they were to lose to a Utah team without Gobert – that speaks volumes.

The Jazz did not match up against the Clippers well in terms of talent. An injured Derrick Favors was heaving and wobbling up and down the court against the Clippers, yet still managed to net 15 points. The Jazz may have lacked the talent, but they had an overwhelmingly amount of heart.

Hayward ended the game with 19 points, 10 rebounds and three assists followed by George Hill with 16 points, four rebounds and two assists. Johnson and Favors also led the bench, with a combined total of 36 points.

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Blake Griffin retaliated with a whopping 26 points, seven rebounds and three assists coupled with Chris Paul’s performance of 25 points, seven rebounds, and 11 assists. Their bench offered 20 points from the combined forces of Speights, Felton, and Crawford.

If the Clippers continue to struggle against a Gobert-less team, they are in for a rude awakening for the rest of the series.

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