The Utah Jazz have stolen Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers on the road 97-95 without Rudy Gobert thanks to a last-second shot from Joe Johnson.
With 13.1 seconds remaining, Johnson took an inbounds pass after a Chris Paul bucket that tied things up at 95. Instead of calling a timeout, Johnson drove into the lane and put up a floater over Jamal Crawford that bounced off the rim before going in.
He finished with a team-high 21 points. Gordon Hayward had 19.
It capped a night in which the Jazz only had Gobert for 11 seconds thanks to a knee injury he sustained on the first play of the game. Utah trailed by two after the first quarter, the teams were tied at halftime and the Jazz led by four entering the fourth quarter.
Our big fella went down, but we made up for it with a lot of effort," Johnson said after the game on ESPN. We just got to keep fighting.
Utah led by six with 3:56 remaining before allowing the Clippers to get within one just 46 seconds later. With the Jazz holding on to a 94-93 lead, Derrick Favors made a free throw with 18 seconds left, setting up Paul's shot and Johnson's answer.
Blake Griffin and Chris Paul combined for 51 points to lead the home team.
Game 2 is Tuesday in Los Angeles.
The Utah Jazz held the LA Clippers to just 18 points in the third quarter and lead by four entering the final frame, 74-70.
The Jazz led by six at 68-62 partway through the third before allowing the Clippers to go on an 8-0 run and take the lead. Utah responded, however, as Gordon Hayward went on a personal 6-0 run to close the quarter. He scored the Jazz's final eight points of the frame overall and has 16.
Sans Rudy Gobert, the Utah Jazz are tied with the LA Clippers at 52 all at halftime of Game 1 of the teams first-round playoff series.
Blake Griffin leads all scorers with 20 points. Joe Johnson leads the Jazz with 14.
Trailing by six in the second quarter, the Jazz went on a 14-2 run to take a six-point lead of their own.
The Clippers, however, pulled even at the end of the frame.
Utah is shooting nearly 54 percent from the field.
The Utah Jazz earned their first playoff berth since 2012 this season despite dealing with a bevy of injuries.
Just 11 seconds into their opening round game against the Los Angeles Clippers, disaster struck when star center Rudy Gobert, who missed just one game during the year, went down with a sprained left knee.
He will not return.
The Jazz stayed tough throughout the opening frame without the big Frenchman and trailed by just two at its end, 24-22.
Weve got to scramble and adjust, head coach Quin Snyder said in an interview with ESPNs J.A. Adande in between the first and second quarter.
Utah actually took an 11-9 lead with 6:04 left in the quarter on a layup from backup center Jeff Withey. The Clippers charged ahead, opening up a five-point lead, but the Jazz remained tight on defense throughout the rest of the quarter.
Blake Griffin led all scorers with 11 points. Joe Ingles and Boris Diaw had five points apiece to pace Utah. Gordon Hayward had two.
LOS ANGELES — It's playoff time.
The Utah Jazz and LA Clippers square off Saturday night at Staples Center in what will be the Jazz's first postseason game since 2012. The Clippers will be looking to protect their home floor and get off to a strong start in what they hope will be a significant playoff run.
The home team is led by point guard Chris Paul, shooting guard J.J. Redick, power forward Blake Griffin and center DeAndre Jordan. Utah will counter with a key core of point guard George Hill, small forward Gordon Hayward and center Rudy Gobert.
However, during the Utah Jazz's first possession of the game, Gobert suffered a left knee sprain and will not return.
Follow along as the night unfolds.