SALT LAKE CITY — Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers sounded in awe of his level guard after watching Chris Paul beat the Utah Jazz with a unbelievable fourth-quarter efficiency.
Paul scored a season-high 34 factors and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied for a 111-106 victory Friday evening to take a 2-1 lead within the first-round NBA playoff collection.
“He has an amazing will,” Rivers stated. “He’s only a powerful man. He’s cussed in a really, very constructive manner. All the good ones have that in them. They’re cussed like they aren’t going to lose.
“And that’s how he felt. And you could possibly really feel that. His power and that sort of rubbed off on all people on the workforce.”
The Jazz led a lot of the sport earlier than Paul took over within the fourth quarter and powered a 15-Zero run that gave the Clippers a 103-96 lead with 2:09 remaining. Utah by no means led once more.
The Clippers overcame a spectacular evening from Gordon Hayward, who scored a career-high 40 factors. But Paul merely dominated the fourth quarter, scoring 9 straight himself throughout the run and getting wherever he wished on the ground. He iced the sport with a pair of free throws with 5.three seconds remaining and completed with seven rebounds and 10 assists.
“I’m just always looking at the scoreboard trying to manage the game,” Paul stated. “I used to be simply attempting to choose my spots. That’s a great workforce over there. They stick to their ideas.
“Me and (DeAndre Jordan) on the ball-screens simply tried to hold getting inventive and tried to determine methods to make performs.”
Jordan had 17 factors and 13 rebounds for the Clippers, who performed with out the injured Blake Griffin within the second half. Luc Mbah a Moute scored a profession playoff-high 15 factors.
“That’s a difficult cover,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder stated of Paul. “We put totally different guys on him and coated the pick-and-roll a number of alternative ways. That’s actually all you are able to do is perhaps strive to give him some totally different seems as a result of he’s normally going to determine for those who’re doing one factor — as you noticed throughout the third quarter.
“You simply hold attempting to alter as finest as you possibly can and compete. The arduous factor for us is once we did get some stops, they received second pictures.”
Joe Johnson tried to will the Jazz to victory within the fourth quarter after Hayward slowed down, ending with 15 factors off the bench. George Hill scored 26 thanks to a 13-point third quarter, then stated the Jazz wanted to win the subsequent sport.
“Yes, it’s a must-win situation for us,” he stated. “You never want to go down 3-1, especially going back to their home court.”
Griffin left the sport with three:18 remaining within the second quarter and didn’t return after touchdown awkwardly following a transition layup. The Clippers dominated it a bruised proper huge toe. The five-time All-Star had 11 factors, six rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes.
Griffin had X-rays on the enviornment that had been adverse and the Clippers deliberate to re-evaluate him later Friday evening.
“One of the biggest adjustments is we probably won’t be able to play through the post so much,” Paul stated. “He’s such a dynamic participant. We go to him within the post and we minimize and transfer off him. … He’s our different help man.
“Just his management, it’s only a totally different feeling when he’s on the courtroom.”
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