The Jazz dealt the Clippers another disappointing playoff elimination in Game 7
Many NBA analysts have wondered if the Los Angeles Clippers would opt to break up their core this offseason. If Sunday’s first-round Game 7 against the Utah Jazz marked this group’s final game together, then they will at least part ways in a fashion that convinces most observers that the experiment had run its course.
The Jazz defeated the Clippers 104-91 on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center, ending a series that featured near-constant shifts in momentum and several key injuries. A matchup that began with an injury to Jazz star Rudy Gobert and hinged on the Clippers losing Blake Griffin to a season-ending toe injury ended with several familiar scenes on both sides — the Jazz controlling tempo and succeeding with scoring balance, and the Clippers struggling through many possessions and ultimately failing due to their own lack of secondary performances.
Despite understandable problems stemming from the loss of Griffin, this Game 7 loss stands as a real disappointment for the Clippers. Friday night’s Game 6 road win in Salt Lake City appeared to signal that the experience of Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, and several other longtime Clippers could prevail over a relatively inexperienced Jazz core. Instead, L.A. labored through the bulk of the game and failed to take advantage of the visitors’ foul trouble. Meanwhile, Utah won its third game of the series at Staples Center to negate the homecourt advantage they lost in the final week of the regular season and will move on to face the top-seeded Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Utah controlled Game 7 at Staples Center to advance, and now Los Angeles faces some serious summer questions over its future.