Joe Johnson's last second heroics put Jazz over Clippers in Game 1

Portland Trail Blazers guard Evan Turner right passes the ball away from New Orleans Pelicans center Alexis Ajinca during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland Ore. Wednesday

The win was improbable and all the more gratifying because the Jazz played all but 17 seconds without center Rudy Gobert, who suffered a hyperextension of his left knee and a bone bruise on the game's very first possession. Should the series make it to a Game 7, Gobert will have had two full weeks to rest and recover.

There was no immediate word on his status.

Joe Johnson's floater as time expired erased a heroic shot by Chris Paul to tie the game and gave the fifth-seeded Utah Jazz a 97-95 Game 1 win over the Clippers in Los Angeles. And without him, the Jazz may still be fine. Unfortunately for both these teams (more so for the Clippers, who I think are legal property of the Warriors at this point), the reward for winning this series is a second-round matchup with top-seeded Golden State. Jonas Valanciunas had nine points and nine rebounds. He'll likely land on an all-NBA team for the first time.

"When Joe makes the shot, it always makes the coach look smart", said Utah head coach Quin Snyder after the game. Second, Joe Ingles recognized this, and wanted to get a switch so that Crawford was the one guarding Johnson, the ball-handler and Utah's best scorer Saturday night. "We're not coming in saying, 'Because of a year ago, we're trying to get revenge or we're trying to show everybody what we got'". Teams typically respond poorly to traumatic injuries, especially injuries that transpire on the first play of a playoff game.

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To us, this isn't a good question, because this strategy is much easier said than done. Hopefully the Clippers can get back into the series and advance, because after this postseason, it is unlikely that the entire Big 3 will be back again next season.

The Utah Jazz (1-0) are up on the Los Angeles Clippers (0-1) in their best of seven, first round series of the 2017 NBA Playoffs. For Hayward this represents an opportunity to prove on a national stage that he can be the best player on a championship-level team.

You'd have to think that the Jazz are going put the majority of their eggs in the Derrick Favors basket to try to salvage this Gobert situation. That's a match-up that Blake Griffin needs to win going forward. "Now we've got to see what we're made of". One of the series' biggest storylines was the clash between dominant centers-Gobert for the Jazz and DeAndre Jordan for the Clippers.

Without accounting for his surge in playoff minutes from Game 1, our models project Johnson for 9.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists over 23.4 minutes in Game 2 on Tuesday.

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