On night Jazz lose Gobert, 'Iso Joe' comes through in the clutch

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It was widely assumed that the game had quickly changed in favor of the Clippers when Jazz center Rudy Gobert went down early in the first quarter with what has turned out to be a hyperextended and bruised left knee, and didn't return.

The fourth-year player from France was helped off the court, leaning on teammates George Hill and Boris Diaw as he went to the locker room.

There was no immediate word on his status.

The Clippers won 3 out of 4 games against the Jazz to win the regular season series.

Let's say you were writing a movie script, and you really wanted to indicate a team was cursed in the most dramatic way possible. Jonas Valanciunas had nine points and nine rebounds. Hayward, will nearly certainly opt out of the final years of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent for the first time.

Other Clippers will have to make more of an impact offensively moving forward. But Derrick Favors slid up a spot for much of the game at center and Utah was able to steal the first game of the series on the road.

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"Iso Joe" Johnson lived up to his name as he took all the pressure on himself to nail the final shot against the LA Clippers. The appearance in this year's National Basketball Association playoffs is the first time in five seasons for the Jazz and it looks like it will be a great one. But we quickly learned that the center had only a sprain in his knee, meaning a return during the playoffs was not out of question. This came after a previous attempt to get back on the floor didn't go so well.

Gordan Hayward had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Jazz.

Chris Paul: Traditionally, the Utah Jazz have owned the Los Angeles Clippers, with an all-time, head-to-head record of 100-77. But this injury is still taking one of the most dynamic players in the league away from one of the league's most dynamic teams.

Despite being at different ends of the contention cycle, these two teams have a lot more in common than you might think at first glance. The Jazz opted not to call a timeout and instead put the ball in the hands of Johnson, a former All-Star who has embraced a reserve role with the upstart Jazz. He missed the first shot and made the second, setting up a dramatic finish. We've got to forget about previous year whether we won or lost.

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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