Utah Jazz: Clippers are talented, motivated - and running out of time

Utah Jazz: Clippers are talented, motivated - and running out of time

For a playoff-bound team, the ideal scenario during the last game of the six-month season is being able to rest key players.

The Clippers pulled away in the third quarter after leading by six at halftime.

The Utah Jazz are in their first playoff appearance since 2011-12 and have won seven of their last nine games. The Utah Jazz are no pushover and have the defense to hang around and possibly even upset this series overall. Both players pushed the tempo and attacked the paint aggressively, creating opportunities to score that were tough to come by given the slow starts from Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

Willie Cauley-Stein scored 19 points to lead Sacramento, Buddy Hield had 16 and UCLA alum, Aaron Afflalo had 18.

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"That was nice, because Paul had no interest in going in", said heac coach Doc Rivers of the chants.

If the Celtics win they will take the Eastern Conference's top seed away from last year's National Basketball Association champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are on a three-game losing streak and have won just 12 of their 26 games since the All-Star break. With the whole arena clapping and shouting his name, Pierce had no choice but to hobble off the bench, rip off his tearaways, and enter the game. The Los Angeles Clippers are looking to make a deep run for the first time in franchise history. "Maybe more than any other season that we have had here". Though the all-bench lineup got some run for about 2:30 of game time to begin the second quarter, Doc subbed Blake out early (3:00 left) in the first quarter and brought him and Chris back early (9:30 left) in the second. He clearly did not want to play, but he was a good sport about it. "Trying not to have those different lapses in games". It should be incredibly interesting to monitor his substitution patterns as the rotation shortens moving forward.

Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard JJ Redick drained three three-point shots in Wednesday's regular-season finale against the Sacramento Kings, setting a new single-season bar at 201 for the most made in a single campaign, per Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times. The 39-year-old veteran is retiring at season's end, having spent just two seasons in his hometown of Los Angeles and the majority of his career in Boston. He was aggressive and decisive on the offensive end, a trend that has developed down the home stretch of the season, as he finished the year with three double digit outings.

The Jazz, who defeated the Spurs on Wednesday, 101-97, finished with an identical record to the Clippers. For Game 82, the Clippers had their starting group on the floor with five minutes to go, for whatever reason. "That one (to the Kings) particularly so". Now I'm an Adam Sandler fan, but Spanglish belongs nowhere near the word "favorite" in anybody's vocabulary. The Clippers did show positive signs by finishing the season with seven straight wins.

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LOS ANGELES For the Clippers, the return of the postseason means a reminder of their failures, the painful and fluky exits from the playoffs in three straight seasons.

The Clippers' journey could culminate this season in one of several ways.

Neither is the momentum they're riding.

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Rooney would enter our locker room, look me in my eye and shake my hand along with every player who stepped foot on the field". It says teams have to interview at least one minority candidate when hiring a new head coach or general manager.

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