Published: Sun, April 23, 2017
Sport | By Desiree Waters

Utah Jazz Steal Home Court Advantage on Iso Joe Game Winner

Rudy Gobert fell to the floor with a knee injury 11 seconds into his playoff career, and will not return for the Utah Jazz in Game 1 of their series against the Los Angeles Clippers after being diagnosed with a left knee sprain.

Joe Johnson deserves a lot of credit for the initial defense, and not being run over by Griffin quickly.

Although this is Utah's first playoff appearance since the names Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer rang through the Vivint Smart Home Arena, they are reaching sort of a crossroads with their core as well. "We wanted the ball in Joe's hands and we got a switch". Gobert has been a constant, as Utah wins basketball games behind the strength of their stingy third-ranked defense. Both Paul and Griffin can play more effectively too: the former started cold, while the latter's athleticism and power should wear on Utah's smaller lineups. If Gobert is unable to return for the remainder of the series, that will be a huge break for L.A. and will boost their chances of progressing. In game two, they've GOT to tighten that up.

The game everyone assumed was over in the first seconds actually was not decided until the final second ticked off the clock. He has played 101 playoff games coming in, he had seven game winners in the last 10 years and he had played in seven different Game 7s. It's good for us to go just go in with all the confidence in the world that we've built up this regular season and understand that every round's going to be different, every round's going to be just a dogfight.

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"I think we should feel that we can win without Rudy", Snyder said.

Game 2 is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. PT. According to the study, the Jazz would've won nine more games with a fully healthy roster. While others struggled from the perimeter throughout the night, Johnson continued to come up aces, hitting 9-of-14 from the floor and 3-of-4 from three-point range. "I hope he's OK and stuff like that, but we've got to worry about our team".

Players risk a fine if they lobby for a trade in the media. Derrick Favors came off the bench in place of Gobert for 15 points and another veteran, George Hill added 16. Now, when you're down two, you try to score. In addition to Favors stepping up, Gordon Hayward crashed the boards hard and grabbed 10 rebounds.

The 97-95 loss is certainly a disappointing one for the Clippers but it is only game one, people. They are also the more experienced of the two teams, and they have prevailed in playoff series against tougher competition than these Jazz.

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