(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong).
Less than a minute into Game 1 between the Utah Jazz and LA Clippers, Rudy Gobert dropped to the floor grimacing in pain while holding his knee.
Facing the prospect of yet another postseason disappointment, Clippers coach Doc Rivers made a number of critical adjustments in Game 2. The Jazz closed to within six on five occasions in the fourth quarter.
On the Los Angeles side, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul combined for 51 points, with only DeAndre Jordan (10) reaching double figures elsewhere on their roster.
Clippers guard Austin Rivers wishes he was back on the court already. Gordon Missed a few really open shots as well. "I have to be aggressive offensively and defensively, so nothing is different". Hayward singlehandedly outscored the Clippers 6-0 to send the Jazz into the fourth leading 74-70.
As the Clippers' slogan says, the LA outfit will need to give their everything if they are to beat the Utah Jazz.
"We've got to be better", Paul said.
Thunder's Westbrook focused on playoffs, not historic season
Game 4 was basically all Rockets as Houston just overwhelmed the Thunder with their shooting and ability to spread OKC's defense. Did you think Westbrook would average a triple double this year? He's facing another player who gets triple-doubles in bunches.
The game stayed fairly close early, with the score all knotted up at 52 at halftime, and it would remain so the rest of the way, with no team taking a lead larger than eight points. Only three teams in National Basketball Association history have dropped the first two games at home and won a series, and it hasn't happened in a dozen years, and they surely knew that too. "For me personally, Rudy has been a bully down in the paint while I was out", said Favors, who missed 31 games this season with knee injuries.
Paul and Griffin are likely to become free agents this summer when they exercise the player options in their contracts.
The most anticipated matchup of the Clippers' first-round series was in the middle. "So when he gets the ball at the end of the game, we are pretty confident".
"I just try to be patient, get to a sweet spot, and make the right play", Johnson said. "There's no sense lamenting his absence".
After a Utah timeout, the Clippers defense locked in to force a shot clock violation. In the second half, four costumed cows jumped up and down behind Utah's basket, trying to distract free-throw shooters as part of a chicken sandwich promotion. The shooting guard managed just seven points and took only six shots, converting three, in the opener. There will also be more minutes available for the likes of Boris Diaw and Jeff Withey. "I know in preparation for the first one, some of those guys maybe didn't think they would be in as much".