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Emptying the Noggin — Jazz win a mammoth game over the Clippers

By David Locke, Utah Jazz

Summary: The Jazz win a mammoth game over the Clippers with a furious comeback in the second half and electrifying 3-point shooting on the way to a 114-108 win.

  • The Jazz swung the game’s momentum in their favor in the second half when they hit nine straight 3-point shots, going from down seven points at the half to up by as many as 13 in the fourth quarter. It was a balanced barrage Hayward, Ingles, Johnson, Exum and Hill had two makes from downtown. Diaw added one in the second half as the Jazz hit on 11 of 13 three point attempts in the last 24 minutes.
  • The most impressive part of this game was how many runs the Jazz made at the Clippers, who had controlled the entire first half. It was especially impressive considering how many times the Clippers answered those runs until the Jazz finally broke through.
  • The game changed when Chris Paul checked out in the third quarter and the Jazz were able to outscore the Clips +12 when CP3 was on the bench. By the time he checked back in, the lead was too much and the Jazz had the momentum.
  • There was a great play in the fourth quarter where Rudy Gobert set an early screen to clear Hayward who buried a quick three from straight away. Another solid, All-Star night from Gordon with 27 points, three rebounds, four assists, shooting 9 of 18 from the field.
  • This game had a ton of grabbing and flailing and elbowing and gripping and… this is going to be quite a playoff series.
  • Blake Griffin finished with just eight points in 36 minutes. The Jazz guarded him with Diaw and Joe Johnson for most of the night, but the presence of Rudy Gobert was always lurking.
  • George Hill was quiet in the first half, shooting 2 of 8 but he caught fire in the second and particularly in the third quarter. He had 12 points in the third to ignite the Jazz’s big run.
  • When Chris Paul checked out, Dante Exum came in so Quin Snyder could match the minutes of Chris Paul with George Hill. Dante kept the momentum rolling with an aggressive drive, two 3-pointers and some solid defense. Quin even kept Dante in the game for a few possessions when Chris Paul first checked back in the game.
  • Gordon Hayward may have had the best defensive possession I have ever seen. Blake Griffin tried to bump, back and bully him into the paint and he couldn’t move Hayward at all. Blake was simply stymied. He threw it back out to CP3 and set a pick to free CP3 for the three and Hayward flew out and altered the CP3 shot into a miss.
  • Alec Burks’ rebounding is an incredible asset to this team.
  • Rudy Gobert’s line was not as gaudy as a lot of other nights, but his effort and commitment to winning was obvious the entire game. Jordan leads the NBA in rebounding and he finished with seven rebounds on the night.
  • The Jazz were just 4 of 16 in the mid-range and paint non-restricted area in the first half. Those became 3s that went down during the second half.
  • This was an offensive game. The Jazz’s offensive rating was 129 and the Clippers’ was 122.
  • The Jazz’s 40-point third quarter was the most points in a quarter by the Jazz all season and they had an EFG% of 96%.
  • Chris Paul was brilliant with 33 points. He was incredible and scored a season high.
  • If the Jazz are going to the four-seed and secure home court advantage, they had to win tonight. It is going to be a hard road, but they’re now up two games on the Clippers. Utah will probably need to get the other one in Los Angeles to hold onto fourth seed, but this one they had to have for playoff seeding — a major belief and a momentum boost.