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Emptying the Noggin — The Jazz had every answer
By David Locke, Utah Jazz
Summary: The Jazz withstood the Clippers’ furry and numerous adjustments to hold onto a vital Game 5 win in gutty fashion.
- What an incredible win. Ron Boone said it best right after the game: This team showed fight tonight. The Clippers came after the Jazz tonight and the Jazz were the better team with every answer.
- The key stretch of the game was when the Jazz took an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter. The Clippers rallied on a 11-0 run, got five free throws from Redick before Chris Paul hit back-to-back 3s to tie the game with 7:43 to play. The Jazz came out of the timeout with a Hayward 17-footer and then Hood hit a 3, followed by a Hayward 3 while getting back-to-back stops to take the lead back to eight points. The Clippers never got the ball with a chance to tie after that.
- The two biggest plays of the game were when the Jazz were up by two points with 3:04 left and George Hill missed a 3. Gordon Hayward flew in and tapped the rebound out to Joe Johnson, who put the Jazz back up by five points with a 3. A three-point game, George Hill and Hayward went to the ground to get an offensive rebound got tangled up with Chris Paul and drew the foul on Paul. Hayward then hit two free throws to put the lead back to five points. Both of these were relentless hustle plays.
- Joe Johnson did it again. With :36 left in the game, the Jazz were up by two points with the ball and the Clippers were guaranteed another possession. Joe Johnson took it to the middle of the lane and faded back from 13 feet and hit the shot to put the Jazz up by five with :19 seconds left.
- Hayward was terrific again. He had 11 points in the first quarter and finished with 27 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
- This was a defensive game. The last two games were all offense, tonight was defense. Rudy Gobert and DeAndre Jordan had a huge impact on the game and the ability of either team to get where they want to go on the floor.
- The Jazz only allowed three offensive rebounds tonight in 39 chances and only four second-chance points.
- The Clippers made a ton of adjustments: They trapped the Jazz on pick and rolls, they doubled Joe Johnson and they played with really small lineups. The Jazz had answers to each of these. The double teams and traps gave the Jazz some issues early, and then they settled down. The Jazz got a ton of 3-point attempts off the Clippers actions and took 36 3-pointers over the course of the game. They got a ton of open looks that they will take in any game, but only made 13. Those same looks are going down at home.
- The Clippers started Mo Speights in the first half and then tried Paul Pierce in the second half. Boris Diaw actually went at Pierce on a few possessions.
- Austin Rivers returned and helped the Clippers’ lineups defensively. They are able to have good defensive crews on the floor which they couldn’t do before Rivers returned.
- Rudy Gobert had five steals.
- Quin Snyder’s use of personnel, plays out of timeouts and game planning cannot be underestimated in this series. Quin is putting out lineups that are giving the Jazz a slight edge throughout the game, getting matchups that he wants and are advantageous to the Jazz.
- The Jazz were +7 when Chris Paul was on the bench for the 10 minutes he sat tonight; The Jazz were +14 in the eight minutes DeAndre Jordan sat.
- The fourth was an offensive quarter; The Jazz went 9 of 19 with five 3-pointers while hitting 9 of 10 from the line (super clutch from George Hill and Gordon Hayward) and the Clippers went 9 of 15 with four 3-pointers while hitting on 12 of 15 free throws.
- The Jazz went dry early and missed eight straight shots to close the first quarter, or they would have been in control earlier.
- The Jazz took control in the second, stretched it in the third and then after the Clippers’ flurry, controlled the fourth.
- Game 6 is going to be really interesting. I don’t know what the next move from the Clippers is going to be. It feels like they tried a lot of things tonight and I am not sure they made any progress in dealing with Hayward or Johnson, and if the Jazz knock down some of the open looks they got when they’re at home, it could get very exciting.
- Winning Game 5 was a must and the Jazz got it done.