LOS ANGELES — The LA Clippers had a tremendous start and the Utah Jazz could never quite recover as the Clippers came away with a 99-91 win in Game 2 of the teams' first-round playoff series Tuesday night at Staples Center.
With the win, the Clippers tied the series at one game apiece as it gets ready to move to Salt Lake City for Games 3 and 4.
Blake Griffin led all scorers with 24 points. Chris Paul had 21 points and 10 assists. DeAndre Jordan had 18 points and 15 rebounds.
Gordon Hayward scored 20 points to lead the Jazz, which were without star center Rudy Gobert thanks to a knee injury.
LA had 60 points in the paint compared to 38 for Utah. The winning side had eight offensive rebounds, including three key ones in the fourth quarter that led to buckets.
The Clippers jumped out to a 29-18 lead at the end of the first quarter. Utah got to within three in the third quarter and stayed close throughout most of the fourth quarter but couldn't get over the hump.
Game 3 will be Friday night at Vivint Arena. Tip off is scheduled for 8 p.m. MT.
The opening minutes of the third quarter were promising for the Jazz as they cut the deficit to just three at 55-52, but the Clippers punched back and lead heading into the final frame, 79-70.
Thanks to a couple of misses from LA and some nice playmaking from Boris Diaw, Utah went on an 8-2 run early in the quarter to get within one possession, but the Clippers responded with a 15-6 run to stretch the lead back to 12 at 70-58 with 3:12 left in the quarter.
LA has 25 assists compared to 11 for the Jazz. Utah is shooting 9-of-18 from behind the 3-point line, while the Clippers are 4-of-11.
The Jazz were much better offensively in the second quarter, but still trail by nine, 51-42, at halftime.
After scoring no points in the paint in the first quarter, Utah scored 16 in the second.
DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin have combined for 27 points to lead the Clippers. Gordon Hayward is the only Jazzman in double figures, having scored 12.
The LA Clippers came out like a team trailing in the series, dominating the opening frame on both ends of the floor en route to a 29-18 lead.
On defense, the Clippers smothered the Jazz, limiting them to 29 percent from the field and winning the blocks, rebounds and steals battles handily.
Offensively, LA got essentially whatever it wanted at the rim without Rudy Gobert controlling the paint. The Clippers got a whopping 18 points in the paint compared to zero for Utah.
DeAndre Jordan led a balanced LA scoring attack with 10 points. Gordon Hayward had nine for the Jazz.
LOS ANGELES — A great deal is on the line as the Utah Jazz and LA Clippers get set to square off Tuesday night in Game 2 of their playoff series at Staples Center.1 comment on this story
A Jazz victory would give them a big 2-0 edge with the series headed to Salt Lake City for Games 3 and 4, while a Clippers win would tie things up with Utah center Rudy Gobert's availability uncertain moving forward (he'll be out for Game 2).
Derrick Favors will get the start at center in Gobert's place.
In Game 1, Favors and Jeff Withey played well in Gobert's absence, and Joe Johnson wound up scoring a team-high 21 points playing 31 minutes at power forward, including the game-winning floater as time expired.
Blake Griffin and Chris Paul combined for 51 points to lead Los Angeles.
Tip time is set for 8:30 p.m. MT. Follow along with live coverage as the game unfolds.