The Utah Jazz defeated the Los Angeles Clippers, 96-92 to take a 3-2 playoff series lead, Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
The first half was low scoring, and back and forth between the clubs. The first quarter ended with the Clippers leading by two; 21-19. The Jazz came back in quarter number two to post a 46-43 lead going into the half. Utah’s defense dictated the slower pace and low scoring in the half. The Clippers were bothered by the tenacious Jazz defense and had only shot 38 percent from the field by the time the first half ended.
The third period saw more of the same tough defense and low scoring. The Jazz pulled ahead to a slim 64-58 lead to close out the third. It was their largest lead of the night at the time.
The final stanza was an offensive explosion, compared to the rest of the contest. Both teams scored over 30 points in the fourth quarter, which was the largest point production for the game.
It was a period of streaks from the last part of the third through the remainder of the game. Utah went on a 14-4 run resulting in the first double-digit lead of the contest; 69-58. The Clippers responded with an 11-0 run to tie the game at 69 apiece. The Jazz countered with an 8-0 run of their own, to stretch the lead to 77-69 with six minutes left in the game.
L.A. made several efforts to take the lead and came within 2 points, twice in the remaining minutes. From midway through the final period to the finish, the Clippers hung in valiantly but could not capture the victory.
The Clippers were led by guard Chris Paul with 28 points. J.J. Redick contributed 26 points. The leading scorer for the Jazz was forward, Gordon Hayward, with 27 points.
The Clippers came into the game minus their star forward Blake Griffin. He is sidelined for the remainder of the year with an injury. The Jazz welcomed center Rudy Gobert back to the starting lineup. He was out due to an injury for the last two games.
These two teams will meet for game 6 on Friday, April 28, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Written by D.T. Osborn
Edited by Cathy Milne
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