The patch of real estate under the basket was all theirs, all game.
On Tuesday night at Staples Center, the LA Clippers polished off a 99-91 wire-to-wire win over the Utah Jazz to even up their best-of-seven series at 1-1.
It also helped that Paul did not allow two first-quarter fouls to dial back his aggressiveness.
"We need to open it up a little bit", Rivers said. "Whether we make them or miss them, defensively is where we make our money and that's why we're a good team".
The Los Angeles Clippers are hosting the Utah Jazz tonight in Game 2 of the NBA Playoffs.
The Clippers would maintain this advantage the rest of the way, carrying an 11-point lead at the end of the first quarter and a nine-point lead at halftime. Jordan's tomahawk jam put an exclamation on the end of the period. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan combined to score 42 points in this one, which was enough for LAC to overcome a Jazz team that was uncharacteristically hot from deep (10-25 from three-point range). The Jazz didn't capitalize on his absence though, failing to attempt a single shot in the paint in the first quarter.
With Joe Johnson the smallest Utah wing at 6-foot-7, length and size have been smothering LA's 3-point shooting, a huge key to its offense.
"I think we've got to be better executing our game plan", Hayward said. "We were able to get out and run in transition and get some easy dunks and post steals for Blake, and then it opens up for our shooters". Over the course of 33.9 minutes per contest, he averaged 14 points, 12.8 rebounds and 2.6 blocks during the regular season. Joe Johnson, whose floater at the buzzer gave them a two-point win in Game 1, added 13 points off the bench.
Ingles had been fighting for the Clippers' final roster spot and the team planned to keep him, but an injury to Jordan Farmar left the Clippers without anyone to back up Chris Paul. Paul's jumper following the offensive rebounds was a backbreaker, as was Griffin's confidence to take and make a corner three with less than two minutes remaining. "But, we've got Favors, we've got Jeff, we've got other bigs that will step in and play big roles". "Without Rudy rolling, it's different", Quin Snyder said. "I had to get my mind right and my body right and just be ready to go".
"The play was for DeMar to get a bucket", Lowry said. Jordan came out to the perimeter to hound Hayward, while Griffin got in Johnson's face. The negatives from Tuesday night were mostly related to Utah being unable to protect the rim.
Game 3 is Thursday night in Milwaukee. "I thought he impacted the game way, way more with his energy, his effort, his hustle, his loose balls, his offensive rebounding, keeping balls alive". After a timeout, Oklahoma City scored the next eight points with three-pointers from Westbrook and Andre Roberson to cut it to 64-62 with about 8 1/2 minutes left in the quarter.
TORONTO - Kyle Lowry scored 22 points, including the clinching basket with less than 10 seconds to play, and Toronto beat Milwaukee to even the first-round playoff series at 1-1.
The Rockets scored the first five points of the second half to push their lead to 10 early in the third quarter. Griffin scored 24 points, but played poorly on the glass, as he only grabbed five boards. Seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson, whose Game 1 victor put the Clippers in an 0-1 series hole, considered signing with the Clippers after being bought out by Brooklyn last season.