National Basketball Association
Utah at L.A. Clippers
When: 10:30 PM ET, Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
The Utah Jazz are hoping to have a healthy Gordon Hayward available when they visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday in the pivotal Game 5 of the Western Conference first-round series. Hayward came down with food poisoning on Sunday and was only able to play nine minutes in that night's 105-98 victory over the Clippers to tie the series at two games apiece.
Hayward is expected to give it a go in Los Angeles, especially since he attempted to play on Sunday before ultimately being sent home at halftime. "There wasn't any way Gordon wasn't going to try and give it a go," Jazz coach Quin Snyder told reporters in Salt Lake City on Monday prior to the team's departure to Los Angeles. "... I knew after the first quarter there wasn't much coming. There wasn't anything he could play through, he was just so depleted." The Clippers are without one of their main cogs in forward Blake Griffin (toe), and point guard Chris Paul was highly disappointed that Los Angeles let the Jazz stage a fourth-quarter rally. "We let that one slip away," Paul told reporters. "It was 87-80, and that's on me. Being the point guard, I have to manage the game better and make sure we get good shots."
10:30 p.m. ET, TNTABOUT THE JAZZ:
Hayward poured in a career-high 40 points in Game 3 but the story was different two days later as he took IV fluids prior to the game to no avail. Utah did get center Rudy Gobert (knee) back, and he contributed 15 points and 13 rebounds, while swingman Joe Johnson stepped up with 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting to raise his scoring average in the series to 19.3. "Just trying to be aggressive and make plays," Johnson told reporters of his strong performance. "We had to get stops, which kind of fueled our offense. ... We were getting into the teeth of the defense, whether we had layups, dunks or kick-outs for 3s. I thought we did a good job of making the right decision."
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS:
Not having Griffin to operate inside during the fourth-quarter collapse in Game 4 magnified his absence as fill-in starter Marreese Speights was largely ineffective with five points on 2-of-8 shooting. Los Angeles will be relying on the backcourt play of Paul (27 points in Game 4), Jamal Crawford (25 points) and J.J. Redick for the remainder of the series. Crawford drained 5-of-7 3-point attempts on Sunday after missing all 11 he put up over the first three games.BUZZER BEATERS
1. The first four games were all decided by eight or fewer points.
2. Utah SG Rodney Hood scored 18 points in Game 4 after averaging just eight over the first three contests.
3. Los Angeles backup PG Austin Rivers (hamstring) is expected to be available for the first time in the series.PREDICTION:
Clippers 102, Jazz 97
Stats and Records