No matter what, I do find it odd that the Los Angeles Clippers are anything other than a laughingstock. I guess the one guy who has the most to do with that change in fate was former NBA Commissioner David Stern, who acting on behalf of the New Orleans Hornets, traded Chris Paul to the Clippers. His flop -tastic game is perfect for flop city, and for the longest time the Clippers were able to out muscle or out vet or out shine the Utah Jazz at the end of games. The refs swallowed the whistles, or they made some crazy shots. Or both. But tonight the end of the story was different as the Jazz found a way to grind out a victory, 114-108.
In a potential preview of the First round of the NBA Playoffs, these two teams with strong PG, PF, C play and capable three point shooters squared off. And it was a battle. Utah had to dial it up from long distance to fight back into this game. Gordon Hayward went 4/5. Joe Ingles went 3/4. Dante Exum went 2/2. George Hill went 2/4. Joe Johnson went 2/5. And as a club, they would shoot 14-21, which is making two out of every three.
I’ll take it.
The Clippers shot 40% from downtown which is really good as well. So it’s not like that’s where the game was won and/or lost tonight. You could argue that was on the glass where the Jazz had the 42 to 28 advantage. The Clippers, as expected, got to the free throw line more - and shot 50% from the field. But they still lost. And this could be the turning of the tide for these two teams in the head to head match-up. We’ll find out, as they play again this month, in LA. (March 25th)
Because these teams are likely to get all kinda of friendly with one another in the near future this one had something at stake. It was chippy. It was physical. There were technical fouls assessed and lots of after the whistle contact. And I’m happy to see Rudy Gobert and team not be intimidated by it.
G-Time finished with 27 points, Rudy had another double double, George Hill missed out on a 20/10/10 triple double, the Joes came off the bench for over 30 points, and we’re continuing to see things from Dante Exum and Alec Burks. Jeff Withey is a man who needs more playing time.
Solid win. The Jazz have the next night off and then play four East teams on the road over six nights. See you then!