National Basketball Association
L.A. Clippers at Utah
When: 9:00 PM ET, Sunday, April 23, 2017
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Los Angeles Clippers gained control of their Western Conference first-round series with the Utah Jazz, but not without paying a hefty price. The Clippers will forge ahead without star forward Blake Griffin - who is out for the remainder of the postseason - when they visit the Jazz for a pivotal Game 4 on Sunday.
Griffin suffered a toe injury in a Game 3 victory at Salt Lake City on Friday, which gave the Clippers a 2-1 series advantage, and will have his playoffs come to an abbreviated end for the second straight year after being forced from a first-round series against Portland in 2016 due to a quad injury. "One of the biggest adjustments is, we probably won't be able to play through the post so much," guard Chris Paul told reporters. "He's such a dynamic player. We go to him in the post, and we cut and move off him. ... He's our other assist guy." While Los Angeles loses a key player underneath, Utah is hoping to see center Rudy Gobert return soon from a knee injury suffered in the early moments of Game 1. Gordon Hayward scored 40 points and George Hill had 26 in Game 3, but the Jazz were outrebounded by 13 and outscored in the paint by 20.TV:
9 p.m. ET, TNT, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), ROOT Rocky Mountain (Utah)ABOUT THE CLIPPERS:
Utah has had no answer for Paul, who is averaging 26.7 points and 10.3 assists in the series while shooting 55.4 percent from the floor. Paul scored nine straight points to cap a 15-0 run during the fourth quarter of Friday's 111-106 win, stealing the spotlight from Hayward, who had only one fourth-quarter basket in the closing seconds. "He has an amazing will," coach Doc Rivers told reporters. "He's just a tough guy. He's stubborn in a very, very positive way. All the great ones have that in them. They're stubborn like they aren't going to lose. And that's how he felt. And you could feel that. His energy and that kind of rubbed off on everybody on the team."ABOUT THE JAZZ:
Utah was in the driver's seat after a Game 1 win on the road but now knows it is one defeat away from having its back against the wall, and desperation has begun to set in. "Yes, it's a must-win situation for us," Hill told the media of Game 4. "You never want to go down 3-1, especially going back to their home court (for Game 5)." Forward Derrick Favors, who started the last two games in place of Gobert, was held to two points in 38 minutes Friday night.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Los Angeles won 10 of its last 11 in Salt Lake City.
2. Hayward hit 7-of-15 3-pointers and 22-of-23 free throws in the series while averaging 26.3 points.
3. Clippers C DeAndre Jordan had 17 points and 13 rebounds in Game 3 and has eight straight double-doubles going back to the regular season.PREDICTION:
Jazz 101, Clippers 100
Stats and Records