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The Roundup—Jazz 91, Clippers 99
The Utah Jazz weathered a quick start by the Clippers and kept the game close throughout, but that didn't stop LA from notching a 99-91 victory in Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
The series is now tied 1-1 as the teams head to Utah for Game 3 on Friday.
Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 20 points, while Derrick Favors and Joe Johnson scored 13 points each. George Hill (12 points) and Rodney Hood (10 points) also scored in double figures in the loss.
Utah once again played without Rudy Gobert (knee). Gobert's status for Friday's game and beyond has not yet been announced.
LA's All-Star trio of Chris Paul (21 points, 10 assists, three steals), Blake Griffin (24 points) and DeAndre Jordan (18 points, 15 rebounds) came up big in the victory.
Hayward was aggressive while facing the physical defense of LA's Luc Mbah a Moute. He shot 5-for-15 from the field (including 3-for-6 from 3-point range) and went a perfect 7-for-7 from the free-throw line. Hayward added six rebounds and two assists in 39 minutes.
The Clippers came out hot, making their first five shots en route to a 11-3 lead within the first three minutes. A baseline fadeaway by Hill and a 3-pointer by Hood, though, kickstarted Utah's offense before things got out of hand.
The Jazz kept it close in the second quarter with a 12-4 run. Johnson and Hood made shots in the lane, while Joe Ingles drilled a long 3-pointer. A dunk and free throw by Favors pulled Utah to within five at 35-30.
The Jazz went on a 10-2 run—thanks to a pair of threes (by Hill and Boris Diaw) and two buckets by Favors—to pull within three early in the third quarter. Paul, though, immediately drilled a long 3-pointer that ignited a 13-4 Clippers run and helped LA regain control of the game. That turned out to be as close as Utah would come the rest of the way.
The Jazz kept themselves alive thanks in large part to their 3-point shooting. As a team, Utah shot 10-for-25 (40.0 percent) from beyond the arc, with Hayward (3-for-6), Ingles (2-for-3) and Hill (2-for-6) each making multiple threes.
While Utah was hot from outside, the Clippers got everything they wanted at the rim. LA set the tone early, outscoring Utah 20-0 in the paint during the first quarter. Overall, the Clippers took advantage of Gobert's absence by scoring 60 points in the paint. Utah finished with 38.
Coach's Quote of the Night
"We don't have that anchor, so there's a process of us subtly adjusting to Rudy not being there and figuring out how we can be effective defensively without him. I don't think we were awful on defense. I thought they were very good, and there were some things we didn't do well—we got hurt in the paint, and obviously on pick-and-rolls and post-ups. We did some good things, too. We just weren't good enough to win."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
Ingles finished with nine points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals in 33 minutes. ... The Jazz went 17-for-22 (77.3 percent) from the free-throw line. LA shot just 5-for-8 (62.5 percent). ... J.J. Redick finished with more fouls (five) than points (four). He shot 2-for-6 from the field. ... LA had 26 assists. Utah had 15. ... Austin Rivers (hamstring) was out again for the Clippers.
The Jazz will return home to host the Clippers in Game 3 on Friday. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. MT, and the game will be televised on both ESPN2 and ROOT SPORTS.