Riding a stellar second half, the Los Angeles Clippers took a 2-1 first-round series lead over the Utah Jazz with a 111-106 win in Game 3 on Friday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. Marreese Speights started the second half in place of Griffin.
Down by nine early in the 3rd quarter and no end to the misery in sight, things for the Clippers went from bad to worse when they watched Blake Griffin hobble off the court after injuring his toe late in the 2nd quarter.
Griffin checked out with 3:18 left in the second quarter, moments after his driving layup past Rodney Hood pulled the Clippers within 47-43.
He had back-to-back possessions late in the fourth quarter in which he drilled a three-pointer to put the Clippers ahead 97-96 and a lovely behind-the-back layup to extend the lead to three.
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Griffin getting injured in the postseason was the theme of the Clippers in 2015-16, as the forward re-aggravated a quad injury during the team's first-round matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Luke Mbah a Moute added 15 points, while Blake Griffin added 11 points for Los Angeles. It's the third straight season he has played fewer than 70 games, suiting up for only 35 past year and 67 in the 2014-15 season.
The Clippers have already been shorthanded, playing without key reserve Austin Rivers, who suffered a strained left hamstring with seven games remaining in the regular season. He shot a new career high from the free-throw line at 76 percent despite missing time due to right knee surgery.